District 9 was an interesting movie. At first I sat there wondering what all the commotion around this movie was. It was somewhat intriguing, but also very preachy and wasn’t really getting anywhere. But at the halfway point the movie shifted gears and really picked up the ace, creating a very exciting and gripping film.
So lets talk about the two halves of this movie. The first half simply took too long to set things up. That’s really all the first half of the movie was, the set-up. It seemed like it was never going to get to its point. And I really grew worried during the first ten or fifteen minutes that this was simply going to be a very non-obvious racism allegory. The allegory did cool off a bit as the actual story started progressing, but always remained and did end up paying off as long as you could get through the in-your-face preachiness at the beginning.
The second half was considerably better and really engaged me. The pace was fast moving and exciting and I felt a strong connection with both the Micheal Scott-like Wikus and the techie prawn Christopher and his son. I really wanted the to succeed and I was glad that they did. I didn’t want the prawn and his son to end up getting killed so that the movie could prove some point about discrimination and social injustice I’ve seen that too much and it would have been too obvious. Having the happy ending was actually the braver and better way to go here, I thought.
I also loved how the movie started to already build up the conclusion of the story and where it was going through the documentary interviews near the beginning, and more importantly have that build up pay off! The gravity of events that transpired did not let us down from what the movie was wanting us to anticipate at the beginning. Very well done.
So there it is. District 9 is a movie with a weak start out of the gates, but it did manage to find its footing and get back on track for a very interesting and exciting ride.