Courtesy of the new Magnum Gold Class promotion, I took myself off to see District 9 in Gold Class last week. The seat was comfortable, the food not so great (they’ve cut back the menu even more and the nachos weren’t as good as they used to be) and the movie was quite good.
I mean good; not just because it was entertainingly crap or silly. In fact, District 9 is the first decent (non-campy) SF film I’ve seen for a while. (The last was Sunshine, which decided to become a slasher flick in the last act.)
In D9, an alien starship stops above Johannesburg, just hovering in mid air. Eventually, authories break in and find a half-starved race of insectile aliens, “the prawns”. Being refugees, they get put in slums. The film starts off in mock-doco mode as academics and employees are interviewed about the impact of the aliens, how they’re kind of pathetic because their hive structure is damaged and how they’ve got all of these cool biotech weapons we can’t use because of DNA coding. And the story kicks off when the company running the slums, MNU, decides to relocate the prawns to a newer, cleaner camp that is 200Ks away from Johannesburg.
D9 pokes around with commentaries about social issues and aliens and then twists into an action-adventure sequence for the last act. There’s lots of FPS tech – lightning guns and even a gravity gun in one shot. The way the aliens moved reminded me a bit of Bay’s Transforrmers. The protagonist acts like a confused, panicking, crazy guy out of his depth for most of the film. The film uses wobbly-cam a fair bit, but I could actually see what was going on in the action sequences, unlike bits of TF1 or TF2.
Overall, I’ll give this four out of five lightning gun zaps.