Sunday, August 16, 2009

District 9 Mecha Madness

Not only is District 9 a damn good science fiction film, its got the best mecha action I have seen in any film to date (anime included). As I left the theater my heart was racing, my stomach churning, and my mind provoked. This movie broke so many rules and got away with it in the most miraculous way.

Using a hand held documentary style camera for most of the filming, District 9 wastes no time painting the picture of an alien landing unlike anything you have ever seen on the big screen. Everything seems to be out of whack right from the start. The giant alien mother ship floats over the city bellow, but its not Washington DC this time around. It's Johannesburg?... And instead of these creatures coming down to rain superiority over the rest of mankind, they appear to be fairly primitive and lacking in superior intelligence.

On top of this, the protagonist is an incredibly dis-likable character. It's not that he's innately evil, but rather he is stupid, shallow, a coward, completely self centered, and very uncharismatic. But he's realistic and it provides the audience with a constant reference to the lesser man's choices during this chaotic adventure.

But don't let that discourage you. Not everything was quite what it seemed and soon the I was submerged in a story of corporate greed, poverty stricken society, and some really awesome action sequences.

The special effects in this film are top notch. The action is frighteningly real, and there is no shortage of gory visuals. On top of that there is some alien weaponry that provides for one of the coolest mecha action sequences EVER. Remember the half life 2 gravity gun and how fun it was to rip bathroom fixtures off the walls and shoot them at the oncoming enemy? Think of that but instead of bathroom fixtures it's a pig... I kid you not.

This movie is worth watching for the action alone but it's only a fraction of what this film offers. By the time you leave the theater you will be hating humanity, wanting a mecha, and hoping that there is a sequel in the works.

The only knock I can give this film, is that it uses the hand held effect too much and it made me and other audience members a bit nauseous.


  1. I just saw district 9 today and agree wholehartedly with what this film has to offer.

    At some points you're kicking the protagonist going "man up you jackass" then you realize how many people just like that you know.

    I thought the handheld camera action in this movie was actually preferable to the work done with Cloverfield. Although like Cloverfield it would likely be less nauseating on a smaller screen. I do wonder why they made that choice.

    Part of me wants to see a sequel and part of me screams the sequel's never as good. Also part of the grab of sci-fi, in my opinion, is that it is supposed to leave you wondering at the end. Does "Christopher" keep his word? Did Wickus' wife actually wait for him? If Christopher does come back what happens, does he start a war? What? Part of me doesn't want to know the answer to those questions. The sci fi fan in me thinks that's the way it's supposed to be.

    That said I would like to see the lead actor in this film more Sharlto Copley (Wickus) dazzled on screen, despite the jerky camera.

    This film is a must see, and when it comes out a must buy for anyone who calls themselves a sci-fi fan.

  2. I saw it last night in a packed theater and I have to agree, agree and agree! This movie is great on so many levels, it's really hard to put into words. But as exoticat22 mentions, anyone considering themselves a scfi fan will need to see, and own this movie.