01 August 2010

District 9

I know it's been out of theaters for around a year now, but I just saw District 9 for the first time. I wanted to see it in the theater, but missed it. While I occasionally remembered I wanted to see it, only now have I gotten around to actually acquiring it. (Yay, Seattle Public Library!)

So, let me tell you: everything Pete said about it a year ago is true. It is amazing. I forgot for most of the movie that the alien star Christopher was a cgi effect. I hate and love Wikas because he is so well characterized and acted, and his character is pitiable and contemptible and courageous like a cornered tiger. The world is believable, the storytelling beautiful, and the aliens feel like a real people stuck in an impossible situation. While the abundant humor at the beginning is racist (alienist?) and quirky, most of the movie is very, very humorless. And it pulls it off without becoming too heavy...mostly. The action rocks, but it's not why I'll probably buy this movie. I love Christopher, and his son. He, not Wikas, portrays the noble, brave warrior-hero. Wikas wouldn't get a paragraph in a history book if it weren't for Christopher. To draw a jarring analogy, Wikas is like Eddie Riggs from Brutal Legend: the roadie, who moves things in the background so that the star can do what he has to. Wikas is just a bit more...well, generally useless, than Eddie.

I also really like the last tiny shot of the movie that -- not to spoil it for anyone else who hasn't seen it yet -- alludes to what happened to Wikas after the end of the movie. I think that shot is the most likely, considering the way the aliens were reacting to him at the very end, which was new and different and made perfect sense considering the state of the man at that point. While any of the other possibilities could be it too, primarily the "conspiracy theory" one, I think his wife is right.

I love this one. It's excellent, amazing, and looks and feels better by an order of magnitude than the latest big-budget SF I've seen. Fuck Hollywood. :)

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