I actually wrote this on 1/08/10. Like anyone cares.
I watched a few scenes from the illegally pirated copy of the movie on the computer screen of a friend of mine’s and became immediately intrigued, and wanted to view it in its entirety, but legally.
From what I understood, it is a story of how humans treat humans, or in this case, aliens, but they are so very nearly humans that my statement remains true. I looked forward to it, and so was naturally disappointed when it shifted gears from a humanitarian story to an all-out adventure epic with “fuck” as every third or forth word.
Earth. 1982ish. An alien mothership comes to a full stop over Johannesburg. 20 years later, the aliens have been put into a slummy concentration camp and are to be moved from the so-called District 9 to a even more slummy concentration camp outside the city called, you guessed it, Funopolis!
The group in charge of this relocation is not a governmental orgaization nor even an NGO, but a multinational conglomerate bent on making a profit off of the prawn’s (the alien’s nickname) technology and biology. The name of this multinational conglomerate? Multi-National United. Wow. Does is REALLY need to be that obvious? I may be hoping against hope, but if aliens WERE to really land here, I hope to my non-existent God, or Devil, that humans would have the common fucking sense to NOT let companies deal with it. Even the Bush administration would’ve handled this better than MNU.
You’re probably wondering what government agency, besides the KGB or possibly the CIA, would allow a private company to take over alien affairs. And the answer is: not a single one would. I cannot imagine anything more stupid, but I guess that’s part of the commentary Neill Blomkamp is going for: humans are so stupid and selfish that, rather than treating intergalactic travelers with big, high-tech guns with the respect and mutual curiosity they deserve, we would try to make a profit, place these beings in slum-like conditions and endanger the whole of the human race, and, indeed, Earth herself.
Enter Wikus Van De Merwe (best name for any badass hero EVER, by the way). His unfortunate job is to get the prawns to sign some bullshit legal document that will force them to move to Funopolis, but, if they get out of line, Van de Meere has the full authority to waste the motherfuckers.
The plot then quickly turns from the concentration camped prawns to Van De Merwe having his DNA spliced with the prawn’s DNA (assuming, of course, extraterrestrials even have DNA). Then come the explosions, escapes, infiltrations and more escapes. For me, the best scene of the movie is the very last. There is a haunting image of Van De Merwe sitting in the slums of Funopolis…see the movie to understand.
As for a in-depth commentary about “first contact”, the relationships between humans and other species and the relationships humans have within our own species, District 9 falls short of the mark. As for an action epic with humans and aliens alike exploding into bits of pulp, it is not to be missed.