District 9 Reviews
Even in the movie's most conventional stretches, Blomkamp puts things across with terrific verve, using action and computer effects to enhance rather than trump story and character.
There's a wonderfully sly, farcical verve to these early moments, but it dissipates when the script, with its strains of E.T. and The Fly, moves into high sci-fi gear.
This might go down as the year that science-fiction cinema, despite the deafening crash and clangor of sparring robots, began to rediscover its brains, heart and soul.
A great example of how fresh science fiction can be when it's not just handed over to the special effects team and then the marketing division. "District 9" is far from perfect, but every frame in it drips with ambition, energy and vision.
In this summer of gargantuan mediocrities, a modestly budgeted project with an actual idea in its head, and the wiles to manifest it onscreen, exploding heads and all -- that's something.
The backstory beats the hell out of the present-tense plot, a routine affair in which a well-meaning doofus working for the Man is infected with a virus, starts turning into an alien himself, and falls in with the oppressed creatures.
Socked in with the whiplash action and over-the-top gore is a story that's shockingly funny, clever and emotionally resonant. District 9 is that rarest kind of film, magnificent trash.
For science-fiction fans looking for a bit more brainpower than Transformers has to offer, District 9 points the way toward redemption for a movie genre that could use an infusion of artistic ambition.