Rachel's Blog: District 9
Cheapass Tuesday and I only had time to see one movie. My first choice was The Young Victoria, but it wasn't showing during school hours. So it came down to Inglourious Basterds and District 9. I kind of want to see both, but ended up choosing D9 because it's shorter. Short attention-span is short.
Loads of my friends have already seen it and they all raved*. "Awesome!" they said. You're all wrong, my friends.
It's an OK kind of movie. The effects are fine and believable. They've put heaps of thought into making the aliens ("prawns") both hideous and anime cute at the same time. I wasn't put off by the violence (I had to stop eating at one vomitty point, but I got over that). But blah to the characters and erg to the story.
Yes. We get it. It's about apartheid. It's set in Johannesburg just to make sure we don't mistake the forced sensation in our throats for a bit of stuck popcorn. Aliens have arrived on Earth (why and where from is not explained) and are put into a temporary camp in South Africa for 20 years.
And after that? Well there's this completely uninteresting guy and some stuff happens and his opinion of the aliens is changed 180 degrees. And That Is All. There's maybe half a sub-plot given to the main alien character, Christopher Johnson, but he isn't anything more than the dude with the MacGuffin.
The uninteresting guy, Wikus, is married to Tania, and although he does stupid and cruel things without question as part of his work, we are supposed, I think, to like him because he makes little tchotchkes for his wife and calls her Baby. He calls her Baby a lot. It's irritating. As is the lack of explanation as to why anyone would marry such an idiot.
The documentary style (to heighten the Theme - do you get it yet?) creates distance from the main characters, making it even harder to empathise with this blah person, but is then confused by the switch in POV when stuff actually happens. A good chunk of the film is just undisguised exposition, by people actually talking to camera ("interviewees"). Boooring.
I got really antsy watching District 9. It felt longer than it was and the denouement was twee.
Three out of five black bilious vomits.
*Except Richard. He knew ;-)