District 9 is a story about aliens who make contact with Earth and the relationships with humans and society. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa's District 9. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens' welfare. Their sole interest, alien technology and weapons. Weapon research would mean huge profits for the company. Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is placed in charge of the filed operation to evict, remove, and place the aliens in a new holding facility. Conflict and tension threaten the operation as agents move in.
Don't be fooled. This isn't your typical alien sci-fi action movie. What got me was the believability. If there were aliens out there that were able to make contact with Earth, it seems it could have gone something like this. The way the perspective switches from mock documentary style to standard third person certainly contributes to it. "Real" news footage and interviewers tell the story in retrospect, as the events of the movie have already occurred when they are being interviewed. I think it all added to the realism of the experience.
Usually in these type of films, it's mostly mindless action and the story is lost. Not the case here. There's so much more to it. It's also about betrayal, loyalty, trust, relationships, and sacrifice. It can actually be pretty deep and thought provoking with many themes floating around. The film's really about the story which is really a fresh, gritty, original concept, which is good to see nowadays.
While the creatures can be most readily described as monsters, though they are like us. Family and friendship are still important ideals in their world. The film explores a fine line between human emotions and monsters. With all the selfishness, hatred, and greed within us, maybe we are the real monsters or at least that's how it can be perceived.
Neill Blomkamp does a tremendous job with the direction and realism of the film. Sharlto Copley blew me away. I was shocked to see this was his first acting role. The action sequences were well done as well. District 9 is a very unique sci-fi film, one that shouldn't be missed. Mind you, this isn't a film for everyone. It's violent, and many parts can be cringe worthy. Be warned but be ready for one of the best films of the year thus far.