You can say what you want about Science Fiction or Alien movies, but no one can deny the originality of this concept, and that alone becomes a source of curiosity. On August 14th, Americans will get to see what all the fuss is about, but…….what is this movie about?
Thirty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them. Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare – they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA. The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.
Everyone who was seen a poster or a trailer for this film has also seen Peter Jackson’s (Lord Of The Rings, King Kong) name attached to this film. Jackson has been a supporter of newcomer NeillBlomkamp for a few years now, after hearing he was the front runner for the feature film “Halo.” Neill has yet to do a full feature film, so audiences have no idea what to expect from him. Jackson is Producing District 9 but Blomkamp is the director as was announced at the Comic Con last year. The initial premise of the whole film is based on the Short Film Alive in Joburg (2005), written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, which depicted in a documentary-style the struggles of social interaction between aliens and inhabitants of Johannesburg (“Joburg”), South Africa.
Based on Blompkamp’s short film called Alive in Joburg, FirstShowing.net shares:
“The concept involves aliens who have landed in Johannesburg, South Africa, and are living as refugees there. It has a very Cloverfield feeling to it, and is shot like a documentary, following around the MNU (essentially, the local government-run police) who are trying to keep them contained in certain areas of the city.
The footage started out like any typical documentary on third world conditions and refugees, with locals talking about how they don’t like them. Above the city a giant alien space ship sits dormant, which is what they originally arrived on. But what are their intentions? Well, in one scene where we finally see the aliens as the MNU police attempt to tell them they must leave their shanty home, they find some sort of odd device. It’s not a weapon, which is what they’re usually all about. But in looking at it, it explodes and some liquid flies into the face of the man holding it. He’s taken to a hospital and things begin to go crazy.The aliens, which we got a few glimpses of, reminded me a lot of the Turians from Mass Effect. They were much taller than most humans and came in different sizes and colors. We saw some actions scenes with explosions and the MNU police attacking the aliens, but all in small scale (a lot like ‘Cloverfield’). And that liquid that sprayed into that guy’s face – it turns out that it starts converting him into one of the aliens. The rest of the trailer plays out with scenes of him going crazy and bleeding black liquid and being strapped down to a hospital bed while he starts to mutate. And that’s really all we were shown so far.”
As part of the marketing campaign in North America, posters were put up in major cities on bus stops, the sides of buildings, etc. designating areas that were restricted for humans only, with a number to call () in order to report non-humans. The title of the film was generally not included, although the URL address for the film’s official website was.
There is a lot of mystery about this movie, but I’m always up for Science Fiction, aliens, and especially an original plot. Either way, I’m down for the twist that the humans are kind of the bad guys and the aliens are victims of circumstance, of course, who knows? That plot point may be a diversion from something bigger. I’m excited about this one.