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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

District 9′ has promising premise, but lackluster follow-through

When it comes to science fiction, there’s a limitless universe of possibilities for a creative mind to run wild in. For the sci-fi movie titled ‘District 9,’ its creators gave it a resounding premise of originality and relevance that has not been attempted in recent memory. But while its original idea showed strength and creativity for a deeply penetrating social commentary, ‘District 9’ turns out to be nothing more than an average action film, and it wasn’t because of an overused threat of aliens.

‘District 9’ intriguingly sets a realistic stage by introducing an unknown set of characters played by an unknown cast of actors. It all begins when a mysterious spaceship emerges from the sky and comes to a hovering stop over South Africa. The film’s story begins through the eyes of the media, who is focusing their own attention on the government camp set up to help the ailing aliens. However, as conditions [at the camp] worsen over time, the area becomes known as District 9.

The spotlight is also put on a man named Wikus Van De Merwe. Wikus is in charge of a historical operation of evicting the aliens from their slums and relocating them to a new and cleaner facility. The entire process is funded by a private military company known as Multi-National United (MNU). However, Wikus quickly assumes the role of an action hero when he comes in contact with a strange dark liquid and begins to slowly mutate.

It is at this point when the viewer may realize the story completely abandons its original concept. The narrative switches from the documentary-like eyes of the media to the style of a first-person shooter video game. Because of this, the viewer has even lost the social commentary about human rights, which drove the beginning moments of the film into blistering reality. Instead, the story attempts to focus on the more action-oriented elements rather than a meaningful original idea. Better yet, the viewer’s compassion for the alien race in the film is due to one alien and his young son.

Don’t give into the hype by letting the presence of Peter Jackson’s name fool you during the opening credits. The creativity is stretched so terribly thin that the viewer ends up with a meaningless resolution, resisting to speak a single word about the original ideas expressed in the promising start. What starts out as a film that seems to have the rare ability to get the viewer to rethink their daily actions, turns out to be nothing more than the same mindless action the viewer would expect from a summer blockbuster.

MOVIE BREAKDOWN LETTER GRADE: C RATING: R for bloody violence and pervasive language. STARRING: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James and Mandla Gaduka DIRECTED BY: Neill Blomkamp

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