A's Review of District 9
The documentary-blended-with-action style roller coaster ride of District 9 is well-made and entertaining, but loose ends and plot holes prevent the movie from being truly stunning.
I must say, when I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was not very excited. It looked like yet another "this-is-why-you-should-hate-humanity" liberal propoganda machine. I mean come on, the aliens just want to go home, right? And we're probably keeping them prisoner until they give us all of their military secrets and perform science experiments on them so we can advance our own civilization at the cost of theirs. And we'll do everything violently, right, because that's how everyone on Earth thinks and acts: with a gun in hand. So I watched the movie, and most of my assumptions were correct, but...in a good way.
What I mean is, I accurately predicted most of the backstory of District 9, but the plot itself was original and unexpected. The way in which the characters were portrayed elevates the movie beyond what I had expected. The expressions and speech of the main characters created a fantastic moral dilemma: Wickus, the lead male, is by no means a bad guy, and you find yourself rooting for him the whole movie even as he participates in the suffering of the alien species. The "lead" alien, by hardly saying anything at all, shows you life on the other side of the District 9 fence, and you find yourself rooting for him also. So who should win? The rest of the movie answers the question, but leaves other questions wide open for debate, or simple confusion.
Yes, sadly, there are plenty of plot holes in District 9, but they aren't blatant enough to be distracting. The action and intrigue kept me entertained, not questioning. A lot of the backstory needed further explanation, but the camera convinced me to just go with it rather than stop right there and raise an eyebrow. However, at the end of the movie, I reviewed the timeline in my head and found that I wished more questions had been answered. Especially because the film was mock-documentary style.
But with a strong moral stance and that gentle tap on the shoulder reminding us of our own humanity, along with a simply thrilling and entertaining story to tell, District 9 delivers a great movie.