District 9–Movie Review

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4 Stars
District 9 is a violent and disturbing science fiction thriller. It is also thoughtful and clever, and probably worth seeing if you have a strong stomach.

The premise is that back in 1990 a giant alien spaceship appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. The ship was disabled and filled with half-staved alien refugees. The government reluctantly took responsibility for resettling them in a refugee camp called District 9, a squalid shantytown that quickly became a crime-ridden hellhole.

The aliens are very unpopular. Not only are they horrible-looking, but they also seem shiftless and ignorant and prone to misbehavior. (They eat tires and will do anything for cat food.) Giving in to public pressure, the government decides to relocate them to a new camp far from any city, and hires a multinational security firm called MNU to handle the dirty work.

MNU puts Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) in charge of the operation, since he has some experience in dealing with the aliens and is the boss’s son-in-law. He seems basically a decent fellow, but dimwitted and insensitive.

Things start to go badly wrong for Wilkus when he is exposed to a mysterious alien liquid, after which his hand starts to turn into a claw like the aliens have. He finds himself an outcast and a fugitive, forced to take refuge in District 9 among the aliens.