It must suck to be a professional film critic these days. The critic goes to college, learns about Bergman and Hitchcock and Ford … and then spends 90 percent of his career reviewing junk aimed at 14-year-old boys. So when the film critic catches sight — just a glimpse! — of something adult or meaningful in a movie, he tends to go overboard with praise. I can think of no other explanation for the absurdly high rating accorded District 9 on rottentomatoes.com.
The movie does begin well. Here we have a science-fiction film that appears to actually say something about illegal immigration, or apartheid, or some other social issue, with an analogy that shows mankind’s shabby treatment of predator-like aliens who become stranded in South Africa.
But producer Peter Jackson and director Neill Blomkamp haven’t forgotten who butters their bread — those aforementioned 14-year-old boys. And so District 9 quickly devolves into a routine chase movie, a shoot ’em up with jerky special effects.
Was the ending supposed to be poignant? I was just happy that the damned thing was finally over. Grade: D
Director: Neill Blomkamp Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Mandla Gaduka, William Allen Young, Vanessa Haywood, Kenneth Nkosi, Devlin Brown Release: 2009
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