District 9 (2009) -Director and cowriter Neill Blommkamp has a winner on his hands. It has been a long time since I have seen a movie that was so enjoyable. I am a science fiction fan and District 9 delivers. After their spaceship become stranded hovering above Johannesburg South Africa. A million desperate aliens, are stranded for twenty years in a refugee camp called district 9. Prawns as they are called live in poverty scavenging trash in the wastes of the district. Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is a government functionary in charge of moving more than a million alien refugees from their camp in district nine to a new facility 200 miles away is the protagonist. He comes across as both a competent civil servant and unaware dupe. (Elisa and I did have a conversation about how in the know Wikus actually is. They needed to make him sympathetic while still showing that he disregarded the aliens as much as anyone else.) He an everyone else seems racist towards the aliens. The callous nature of the approach to moving them re enforces the relationship. They are not human nor are they seen as equal or intelligent. A very interesting juxtaposition considering that their technology is so much more advance than ours. In fact there are governments and multinational corporations searching for a way to use the weapons from the aliens. Unfortunately they are bio engineered and only the aliens can use them. Shot in a style of gathered video it could have been slicker but I do think that the found footage approach did not take too much away from the story.
The rest of the plot centers around Wikus and what happens to him while moving the aliens. He finds a cylinder of black liquid and when it accidentally sprays him things start to change for him. I do not want to give away any more of the plot. Go see this movie!
I will say though, that the tension and action of this film grows from that point on. It transforms into a very good action film and is a great ride.