REVIEW: ‘DISTRICT 9′

Tuesday, July 28 by

To Whoever Shut Down The Halo Film:

I had my sneaking suspicions before, but now I can safely say that you are all complete idiots.  Let me make one thing clear: I have yet to actually read why you shut down the Peter Jackson-produced and Neill Blomkamp-directed adaptation of the popular video game franchise Halo.  I believe I read at one point that it was something related to money.  I find this funny, because it seems like if you had just made the movie, it would have made tons of money.  More money than you could ever imagine…

 

Why am I confident of this?  For two reasons: 1) Halo was the most popular game of all time for a five year span and 2) I saw District 9 at Comic-Con, which could have also been aptly titled, Hey, Dudes Who Shut Down The Halo Movie: You F*cked Up BIG TIME.  It makes no mention to the story or plot of the film, but I think it is an accurate representation of what this film stands for.  This film could have been Halo, but you guys screwed yourselves.

The aforementioned screwing of yourself is no longer of any concern to me, because frankly, District 9 is a smarter and more action-packed story than what you guys probably would have tried to get them to do with a Halo flick.  My guess is you would’ve pushed for a PG-13 rating to get more people in seats.  Also, you would have cast Brad Pitt as Master Chief, if given the chance.  Instead, Jackson and Blomkamp went straight for the jugular with a very violent R, and then made the choice of casting one of Blomkamp’s friends, a non-actor, mind you, in the lead role.  I suppose you would find that to be a disaster, wouldn’t you? 

Well, turns out it isn’t at all.  Peter Jackson came out before the screening, and announced confidently that he was proud with the film they made that turned to not be Halo.  I knew at that point I was in good hands for the next two hours.  The action and violence in the film features the most crowd-pleasing moments in a sci-fi splatter fest since Starship Troopers came twelve years ago.  It’s hard to imagine that it’s been 12 years since a good and gory sci-fi action film came out, which I think was made even harder because I was expecting a badass Halo movie three years ago.  Oh, and the non-actor, Sharlto Copley?  He’s unbelievably good.  He could have been given, I don’t know, Master Chief-style body armor, and still have communicated realistic emotional distress better than half of the A-listers in Hollywood.  He even stuck around at the screening and took photos or signed autographs with everyone who was fawning over him after the movie was finished, because he’s not all Hollywood and realizes that if fans like him, they’ll support him (as opposed to you guys, who seem to treat them only as cash machines).

Copley’s performance also speaks a lot to the film’s director, the first-timer it seems you guys were worried about having at the helm.  He took his school friend and a documentary style approach and made one of the best sci-fi films of the summer, which isn’t an easy accomplishment considering his competition of the action romp Star Trek and the cerebral Sam Rockwell movie Moon.  Blomkamp found a middle ground between these two films, balancing balls out action with introspection and even political commentary (segregation in South Africa?  Could this movie be a metaphor for Apartheid?  It doesn’t really matter, because the movie is too busy rocking socks off for people to care).

In conclusion, I’m still a little bitter that you screwed up the Halo film.  But District 9 will slowly help that bitterness.

Sincerely (And By Sincerely, I Mean “Eat It”),

Spencer Vickers
 

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