Nine Thoughts About ‘District 9’

Posted: December 30, 2009 in Jeff Holland, reviews, Threat Quality
Tags: , ,

I have finally seen District 9!

Also, in related and just-as-timely discussion news: You guys hear about that octo-mom lady? Whoa! Crazy.

Anyway, now I understand Chris’s post from August. And, now that I think of it, yeah, I’m with him. This was…ah, shit, okay:

SPOILERS

SO MANY SPOILERS, GUYS

Okay, you’re all still here. Let’s begin, in no particular order.

–           I think it’s entirely likely that the real alien on the ship is, in fact, whatever goo that – let’s say – the queen bee secreted, that – let’s also say, because why not? – actually CREATES its own class of drone worker, based on the fact that the goo completely, 100% alters Wicus’s genetic makeup to become a prawn himself. Which has a lot of implications, but one of them is: If the queen bee has a goo that can create a slave-class out of any species it encounters…isn’t it possible that the prawns ARE a conquering alien species? Or that they abandoned their worker caste because…well, they’re just drones – and not even “real” aliens?

–          Although that does beg the question: that still seems like a pretty expensive ship to abandon. But hey, alien means alien, I guess. Not for me to understand the market value of a city-sized spaceship. (Though I would like that to be a plot point on “V”.)

–          Did anyone view the – let’s face facts here – stupid prawns and be instantly reminded of the end of “Restaurant at the End of the Universe,” and think, boy, between this and the end of “Battlestar Galactica,” how many massive space-ships are going to dump their retarded worker-bees onto planet Earth to colonize? (This may be unfair of to BSG and its fans, but I don’t care, because a show that’s worked so hard to be capital-I Important shouldn’t crib so heavily from Douglas Adams.)

–          Here’s what I loved best about District 9: There are no plot-holes, exactly, but there are places where the movie is not going to slow down its pacing to explain Every Little Thing. The viewer can logic out why, say, humans and prawns can understand each other, or why there are prawn-weapons floating around in the camp even though it’s unlikely they were in the mood or position to be lugging a bunch of cannons around, or even why Christopher Johnson seemed so much smarter than his brethren. You might be wrong, or you might be right, but the movie trusts you to give a little thought to things that aren’t explicitly stated to fill in the gaps. (A movie where you have to do backflips to explain it – that’s plot holes. This is just economical storytelling.)

–          Here’s what I loved second-best about District 9: Christopher’s kid. Especially considering how uncomfortable the Science Channel’s “Mutant Bees” special made me last weekend, I really didn’t think I had it in me to find a little bug-kid adorable. Go figure.

–          Here’s what I hated about District 9 – and it’s the same reason I don’t think I’ll ever bring myself to watch the Cronenberg version of The Fly: I can’t STAND uncomfortable metamorphosis visuals. It goes beyond grossing me out, to a place where I suddenly feel worried about my own physiology. Teeth falling out? Skin ripping off? FUCK ME, that gives me the wiggy. Which, of course, it should – which is why, even though Wikus starts the movie worse than evil – he starts it STUPID, like Michael Scott was in charge of alien relocation – you can still sympathize with him. Because nobody should find themselves in a position where they’re pulling out their own teeth in surprise.

–          Well, except for Charlie Kelly from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” That’s just good comedy.

–          I don’t think it’s crazy to say that in any given decade, there are only two or three really, REALLY good sci-fi movies, ones that are not only entertaining and thought-provoking, but actually say something worthwhile about the human condition at the time it was made. And here we are, at the tail end of the aughts or whatever we’re calling this decade, and Moon and District 9 show up…in the SUMMER.

–          I now have even LESS interest in Avatar after this movie. So, that’s the flip-side of my previous comment, I guess.

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Comments
  1. V.I.P. Referee says:

    “It goes beyond grossing me out, to a place where I suddenly feel worried about my own physiology. Teeth falling out? Skin ripping off? FUCK ME, that gives me the wiggy.”

    Always effective stuff. Especially when you think of what some people endure at the hands/mouthpieces of parasites. I’d guess the experience of pulling a tapeworm out of your abdominal wall, would be similar to sprouting wings through the skin. I have no way of really knowing about that, though. It’s just a guess.

  2. ‘District 9’ is essentially ‘The Defiant Ones’ with recombinant DNA instead of manacles. And it ends on a note that’s just as ambiguous.

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