District 9 was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It certainly put a whole new spin on a genre that has needed a breath of fresh air for quite some time now. The last few alien invasion movies that have come out-The Day the Earth Stood Still and Invasion-have been remakes and re-imaginings (respectively). So I think it’s great that a young director was able to come up with a concept that was so unique and original.
Ok, I gave the movie its props. The real fact of the matter is that I have no real strong opinion on this movie, and I seem to be the only person on earth who feels this way. I wish I could have liked it. I wanted nothing more than to come out of this movie excited and happy. I’ve heard such wonderful things about it and Peter Jackson, the lord of the rings himself was so impressed with it to put his name on the poster and lend a little independent feature some credibility.
I was simply bored. I didn’t connect with any of the characters (even the sympathetic ones), the handi-cam bothered me a lot as well. I am beginning to realize that this is one of my cinematic pet peeves. It gives me motion sickness and/or makes me feel like I have Parkinson’s. I nothinged this movie, and there is nothing more heartbreaking for a film fan than that.
All things considered I should have liked this movie. All the elements were there for me to fall in love with it, but something about it was just…off. I think it’s because I had really high expectations for something completely different than what it turned out being. The previews made it look like it was shot entirely as a documentary, with man on the street interviews and talking head experts relating the history of district 9 and the alien occupation there. At least, the first preview did. The 2nd preview made it look a little Michael Bay-esque. A little Iron Man-y. And that’s when I got confused.
The fact of the matter is that it’s equal parts documentary style and action film, and I think my own enjoyment of the film would have been better served if it was one or the other. There is also a point in the middle where it hovers in “character driven drama” stasis, and that bit doesn’t work at all in the context of the other two genres that the film seems to be.
District 9 was underwhelming and I am ambivalent towards it. I probably wouldn’t watch it again.