District 9 is a ghetto in Johannesburg where the members of an alien race who arrived two decades ago are forced to live. It's a squalid hole and, understandably the aliens are not too happy about it - leading to many altercations and a high crime rate in the area.
The people of Johannesburg have decided enough's enough and they want the camp moved far away from their city. So bureaucrat Wikus van der Merwe is given the task of leading the relocation of the more than on million aliens.
This is a grimy, gritty and dark film. It's stuffed to the gills with Apartheid parallels (something that could only really be done in a South African film) - the aliens have even been given the derrogatory nickname "prawns" due to their appearance. The moral content of this is really off the scale.
But don't feel that this is nothing more than a morality play wrapped in sf clothing. There's action aplenty including some seriously good gore. There's a very well imagined alien race, with a decent level of special effects ensuring the designers' vision for his aliens reaches the screen in good order.
And there's some inspired casting. It would have been all too easy to cast a typical leading man in the Wikus role. They didn't. The actor in question is Sharlto Copley. What, you've never heard of him? Well I hadn't either so don't feel bad.
Copley is great here. He plays the slightly bumbling but ambitious desk jockey wonderfully well. You really believe his portrayal of the man who fears he's losing all he holds dear as things start to go wrong.
I read on the net he's due to play the part of Murdock in the upcoming A-Team movie. Now I know not to believe everything I read on the internet, but I hope this one is true. He'd be perfect. I have a feeling he's not going to be an unknown for long.
Anyway back to District 9. Simply put I think the aliens here are the best I've seen since the Alien movies. I rate them that high. And this film is simply brilliant.