Pop! Inspired

Movie Review: District 9

Posted on: August 19, 2009

"Peace" between humans and prawns

"Peace" between humans and prawns

You’ve probably seen all the posters and billboards promoting District 9- “For Humans Only,” “No Aliens Allowed,” “You are not welcome here”- it gives you an idea of what the movie will be about- conflict between humans and aliens.

If you’re going to see the movie to see violence, special effects and human vs. alien battles, you’ll get that. And you’ll enjoy it. But District 9 is much more than that.

(BEWARE, Spoilers after the jump!)

District 9, shot in documentary style, is the story of Wikus Van Der Merwe. He is an agent with Multi-National United, a private company trying to control the alien population that is residing in a slum in Johannesburg called District 9. The aliens, referred to as “prawns” came to Earth almost 30 years ago but can not go back home, as their spaceship is inoperable.

Wikus has recently been given a promotion and is chosen to lead the task of moving all the prawns from District 9 to another intermement camp where the 1.9 million aliens will have even less space & freedom.

Wikus is a happy-go-lucky fellow who treats the eviction of the aliens in District 9 gleefully. There’s even a scene where he finds a prawn nesting area and sets about destroying the eggs. He takes joy in this and compares the sound that the dying eggs are making to popcorn popping.

Wikus tries to evict a prawn

Wikus tries to evict a prawn

Wikus is also not well equipped for the eviction job- he is very careless and touches everything he finds exciting- whether its an alien weapon or an alien device he manhandles which squirts black liquid all over his face.

This liquid is something that was procured by an alien named Christopher Johnson (obviously a name given to him by humans), who along with his friend and son are trying to make the mothership work again so they can go home.

Unfortunately for Wikus this liquid has side-effects and he finds himself transforming into the last thing he wants to become- a prawn. This is when Wikus’ journey truly starts- as he realizes the truth around him and finds the inhumaness of human beings.

Christopher Johnson and his son come into play again and at times you find yourself rooting for them more than Wikus himself. The CGI and special effects used for the prawns is amazing, especially the eyes. Even though he is an alien, you can see the thoughts and feelings behind Christopher’s eyes.

One of the best things about this movie is that it made its protaganist real. Wikus is at most times quite unlikeable, as he is trying to only help himself so that he could become human again, so that he could see his wife and get his reputation back. In the real world, most of us are not heroes, so it was refreshing to see a protaganist that had to work at it. And to accomplish that, he had to, ironically, become less than human.

Make sure you catch District 9 as soon as you can. You might not get what you are expecting, but you’ll come out of it loving what you got.


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