Sunday, August 16, 2009

District 9

This movie was unique but had some direct elements from previous films. Not one character in this film is recognizable by name only. This movie had local African actors, both white and black. Ofcourse they could have been local car sales people and managers in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Yes, this movie took place in South Africa.

The main character is basically a geek, a pencil pusher who works for a company that is managing the aliens that have arrived to our planet. His name is Wikus Van De Merwe. He knows how to administer and use white out with the best of them I am sure. But he seems to be clueless in the field.

The plot of this movie is that an alien spacecraft enters our atmosphere and stops right above Johannesburg. The world is mesmerized as one can expect. For three month, nothing occurs. Finally, helicopters descend onto the spacecraft and workers cut their way through the doors and find destitute and starving aliens being housed in large rooms within this space craft. This spacecraft seems to be about a mile wide and about 700 feet wide. It has a circular shape.

The aliens are brought down to Earth and allowed to live in Johannesburg. A makeshift but controlled housing project is set up. It is basically a shantytown. The aliens seem to not care since they seem to be scavengers scrounging around the ground for food and items to play with. They seem to be on their way to some sort of interncamp or alien work station but have overtaken their guards and kidnappers but do not seem to know how to operate the spacecraft or how to return to their home planet. I say this because when they are found, they are in dire straights, scared, trapped in terrible conditions large container type rooms. They also have weapons which are exotic but we can not fire them since they can only be operated by their hands or appendiges. There is a biological controlling function which makes them pretty much useless to us. This is why they are selling them to the Nigerian underground elements for cat food. Yes, this movie does paint Nigeria in a terrible light. Nigerians are known for Internet scamming, but control the contraband and organized criminal activity in South Africa? Strange. Why would it not be South African gangsters doing this?

The aliens seem to be quite gullable and kind. Humans are painted as treacherous and nasty here. In one scene, an alien is brutally killed by a Nigerian gangser while his friends laugh their behinds off.

They are taller than us, they are about 7 feet tall and procreat on Earth. They have two arms, legs, and eyes. They can jump about 30 feet, and can probably overmatch humans on any physical scale. They have a proclivity towards cat food and resemble prawns. Prawns seems to take a derogatory term that most humans give them. They are stronger than humans, some are atleast by a massive amount. One scene has an alien kicking a human to death in a disgusting manner. One human is thrown about 15 feet and about 7 feet in the air. No human could throw another human like this. Perhaps a strong grown man compared to a child, but not another 180 pound human.

This movie raises many questions. First off, this would be an international issue, not solely a South African one. The organization seems to have an international acronym but I only saw South African locals managing the aliens. This movie is film sort of like Cloverfield, in real time, but unlike Cloverfield, people are interviewed about the events that unfold.

This spaceshit hovers about 2 miles above Johannesburg and not one country wants to board it and investigate it? That is preposterous.

So, this organization is forced to relocate the aliens since the citizens of the city are tired of having these aliens around them. For all sort of reasons, I would not want to have them around me. It is just a giant slum and they have been there for 20 years now. A large waste basket. So, a massive concentration camp, tightly controlled, with white plastic cover for the homes and with I am sure aluminum framing. It is more organized and controlled by this multinational company.

Merwe is astounded he is chosen to lead this operation. He is with 1-2 armed guards and another white collar assistant. The prawns are not happy about leaving their horrendous conditions. Merwe also searches any suspicious homes for weapons.

Merwe searches one home that seems to be the leaders or thinkers of the prawns. They find some coveted chemical in the trash and take it back to their lab. When this small compound is surrounded by humans they are trying to find a way to hide this chemical which is put into a metal cylindrical canister. Merwe is searching these homes without any protective glasses, masking, or suits. Quite strange. Then, when he finds this canister he plays with it. It splits and some of it splatters in his face. It has a profound affect on his senses. But he plays it off, continues on his day, and returns home to a surprise birthday party. This is where the movie sort of borrows the script from the movie The Fly. Like Jeff Goldblum in that disgusting movie, parts of his body fall off or tears off quite easily without pain. Like Merwe's fingernails for instance.

Merwe is a dumbass. He tries to hide this but when he visits a local hospital since his hand is killing him, the doctors notices-it is hard not to-his hand is alien. At this point, I believe the aliens have a chemical to turn humans into them. Which is quite shocking.

The company wants to harvest Merwe's body and sell it to science acadamies and companies all over the world. To the highest bidder I am sure. Like Species, which is ridiculous on both movies, he breaks loose and remains hidden for about 2 days. He returns to the prawns shack where he found that canister. That chemical is also fuel for the spaceship. There is a mini spaceship underneath this shanty. This is not explained. The South Africans would have been all over this spacecraft and have confiscated it.

This movie is exceptional in that most of it is unique and has some wonderful action scenes. Merwe wants that chemical when that alien says it can lead to his human revival. This scene is more extensive than this but I have to continue. Merwe wants to break into the socalled multinational company's headquarters and steal it. He needs weapons. He goes to the Nigerian gangster's lair and receives their abuse. But he is willing to buy weapons. The leader of them wants to eat his arm to gain their power. Yes, I am serious. The gangster tells his men to cut off Merwe's arm, but Merwe grabs one of their weapons and fires it. He can use it because he has alien biology. The commanding gangster, who has a similiar character to the Jamaican gangster in Predator II, is impressed but Merwe escapes this time.

The thinking alien has a son who seems to be electronically trained and computer literate. The organization is on to Merwe after his wife calls him. They track his location. This company captures the thinking prawn but they can not find his son nor do they know about him. A wild action scene results. Merwe gets to use the gangster's large robot toy which they traded for for cat food, 100 cans I believe. This robot toys has all the capabilities of Iron Man but sustained flight. It has kinetic weapons at a machine gun rate. Remember the gun from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Eraser, this weapon is like that. He has multiple weapons that are connected to the mechanical robot's forearm. They are extremly powerful and no doubters. They just blow up the human body. A bullet proof vest is just not necessary. Why the prawns never used it against us is probably because it could only get some so far. Human run cars into and use a 50 caliber on it which eventually brings it too it's knees. Merwe escapes and hides. The thinking alien uses the mini spacecraft to escape with his son to the mother ship.

The thinking alien, informs Merwe he will return in 3 years to transform him back into a human. With their medical technology, this is possible. It does set itself up for a possible sequal.

This movie was exciting and invigorating. Not one noteworthy character is seen. Despite this, there is not one wasted scene though. But I am conflicted because several components of this movie do not make allot of sense which I have mentioned. For reiteration, not one country wants to investigate this giant spaceship floating above our planet? Albeit it is quite unique and the action scenes are spectacular.

I allocate this movie three stars.***

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