District 9 whizzes by with a resourcefulness and mordant wit nearly worthy of its obvious influences: "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Starship Troopers."
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Anyone who watches District 9 and doesn't think of Apartheid, Nazis, and Josef Mengele needs to spend some time reading a few history books.
The reason District 9 reverberates so loudly is because its moral indignation is cranked to 11.
Though compelling throughout, District 9 never becomes outright terrifying, largely because Blomkamp is less interested in exploiting his aliens for cheap scares than in holding up a mirror to our own bloodthirsty, xenophobic species.
No true fan of science fiction -- or, for that matter, cinema -- can help but thrill to the action, high stakes and suspense built around a very original chase movie.
South African director Neill Blomkamp set and shot the film around his native Johannesburg, so parallels to apartheid leap to mind. Yet the script he wrote with Terri Tatchell applies to any culture that bluntly excludes another.
Madly original, cheekily political, altogether exciting District 9.
Blomkamp and his entire cast and crew have created an instant genre classic that transcends the self-limiting ghetto implied by the term "science fiction" and instead, like precursors such as Robert Wise's "The Day the Earth Stood Still," engages not only the mind but the heart as well. It's magnificent.
Despite its creativity, the movie remains space opera and avoids the higher realms of science-fiction.