In my book, a film is off to a good start when the major event takes place somewhere other than the USA or UK. In the USA it's all fancy guns and loud bangs with high-tech gizmos, in the UK it's gritty make-do-and-mend with a stiff upper lip. But here's the thing, District 9 was conceived and filmed in South Africa with a local (ish) cast. Here's the premise, an alien ship parks itself over Johannesburg, the prawn-like creatures are rescued and repatriated, then the years go by. Think Alien Nation but with much more plot and attitude. The creatures multiply, live in South African slums- mmmm, could be some social comment here – and the locals begin to resent them. The film covers less than a week as the prawns are evicted. Shot documentary-style, it focuses on pen-pusher Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) who served notices on the aliens with all the panache of a true bureaucrat. He's then infected with a black gloop and his metamorphosis into a prawn begins. It's thought the prawns are the equivalent of Huxley' proles, but they do have weapons which only they can use. What would happenif a human could use them, eh?
I don't want to spoil it for anyone who's going to see the film, except to say it's brilliant. A bit on the violent side, though it's only a 15 and lots of bad language, though foooook sounds quite quirky in Afrikaans.
See it.It's brilliant, And as for Christopher Johnson? I hope he'll be back.