Posted on 12/22/09 12:44 PM
This movie is probably one of the more original sci-fi films I've seen, mostly in the style it is filmed. At first I found the mockumentary aspect a bit clunky for the film; it was funny but I felt like it wasn't supposed to be. Plus, it wore on me how much of the movie centered on the main character, who I found to be annoying (but then again, I guess he was supposed to be). On the other hand, the movie was wonderfully complex and had all the right twists and turns in the plot.
While I may question how well the movie mirrors the apartheid, especially given the negative presentation of the nigerians, in itself it has great suspense that grips almost every scene. Death is rampant and shocking in the film, from the callous alien-killing by the army to the especially the creative ways in which alien weaponry can kill a human. The film is driven by this tension of unexpected death, and the tension of not knowing what the main character will do. He appears as a caricature of a coward, but he can be fearless (or just ignorant of harm) at the same time.
One of the best parts of the movie was the aliens and their technology. Its all rendered incredibly and believably, no corners were cut. The aliens themselves end up being a counterpoint to the main character, because in a way they are more noble and good than he is. The audience realizes this slowly over the movie as we see the main character transform, yet retain his unlikable characteristics. Who else can the audience's sympathy fall upon than the aliens themselves?