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"DISTRICT 9"
(2009) (Sharlto Copley, David James) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Extreme Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Moderate Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: A corporate field supervisor finds his life upended when his attempts to evict unwanted extraterrestrials from a Johannesburg slum result in changes to his body that make him an outcast, but one highly desired by other humans.
PLOT:
It's been 20 years since an extraterrestrial mother ship ended up stranded floating above the city of Johannesburg. The emaciated aliens -- human-sized but with the appearance of humanoid insects -- found onboard were brought down to a military camp that eventually turned into a slum. With public opinion toward the creatures eventually souring and then turning racist, especially with most so-called prawns coming off as unsavory and nasty scavengers, Multinational United (MNU) has been contracted to evict the prawns from the slum and relocate them elsewhere, far away from humans.

Having worked for the Dept. of Alien Affairs, Wikus Van De Merwe (SHARLTO COPLEY), is tapped to head the relocation program. Accompanied by trainee Fundiswa (MANDLA GADUKA) and MNU soldier Thomas (KENNETH NKOSI), Wikus goes door to door, not only serving the eviction notices, but also confiscating the aliens' powerful weapons that can only be fired by contact with prawn DNA. During one such search of a shack inhabited by one prawn -- named Christopher Johnson (voice of JASON COPE) by the humans -- Wikus is exposed to an alien fluid that both sickens him and transforms his DNA.

The result is that his arm has mutated into a prawn arm, and he's quickly whisked away by officials for observation and testing, thus worrying his wife, Tania (VANESSA HAYWOOD). When he realizes his company is going to dissect him not only due to the change but also because he's now the only human who can operate the alien weapons, Wikus escapes and goes on the run.

As he finds himself an outcast in both the human and prawn worlds, he hides in the prawn slum known as District 9, searching for a cure and allying himself with Christopher, all while trying to avoid MNU soldier Col. Koobus (DAVID JAMES) who's been ordered to capture and return him, as well as Nigerian black market leader Obesandjo (EUGNE KHUMBANYIWA) who also wants his altered body, but for the supposedly mystical powers brought about by ingesting those parts.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those into sci-fi flicks based on Earth might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For bloody violence and pervasive language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SHARLTO COPLEY plays the field supervisor for the corporation who's in charge of evicting the prawns and relocating them. While not as forceful as the soldiers, he doesn't have any pity for them, but that changes when his DNA changes after exposure to an alien fluid. When he and others discover that one of his arms has turned into a prawn arm, he then goes on the run and ends up somewhat befriending Christopher, but initially does just that in hopes of getting a cure for his condition. He uses strong profanity.
  • CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON is an alien scientist who's been working on collecting enough necessary fluid in order to return to the mother ship. Initially wary of Wikus and his kind for their past treatment, he accepts his help and the two become unlikely partners.
  • DAVID JAMES plays an MNU soldier who doesn't like the prawns, kills some of them, and is ordered to catch and return Wikus to MNU.
  • VANESSA HAYWOOD plays Wikus' wife who worries about him after he's taken away.
  • MANDLA GADUKA plays Wikus' protégé who accompanies him on the eviction runs, just like the MNU soldier played by KENNETH NKOSI.
  • EUGNE KHUMBANYIWA plays the leader of a Nigerian gang who does black market business with the prawns, but then becomes enamored with the supposedly mystical powers one can obtain by ingesting prawn body parts. Accordingly, he becomes very interested in Wikus once he sees his altered body condition.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this sci-fi film that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 137 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present involving true and false talk of human and alien sexual interaction (one including a faked still photo showing a partially blurred encounter).

    Violence includes many scenes of humans attacking and killing aliens (and vice-versa) as well as human on human action. Beatings and related physical contact are also present, as are varying amounts of property damage.

    Much of that has extremely bloody and/or gory results, while a person's body has disturbing changes (lesions, losing fingernails and teeth, etc.) while transforming from human to alien, and various gross-looking alien bodies are seen in various stages of dissection and such. Those scenes and moments of peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to viewers, while some of the action, stunts and such might be enticing for some kids to imitate. All sorts of bad attitudes are present, as are various thematic elements regarding racism, apartheid and the like.

    There's brief alcohol content, as well as some tense family material. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that late in the film.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a great deal of handheld camerawork (sometimes fairly bouncy) in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see liquor bottles at a party.
  • Tania's father pours liquor for both of them.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a prawn cutting into a severed animal head.
  • We see a dead human on the ground.
  • We see a severed and bloody prawn arm, with blood left on the ground when it's removed.
  • Wikus and his team come across a shack where various dead and bloody animals are strung up, with fluids from them running down via tubes to feed baby prawns. One of the men then fires a flamethrower into the scene, with Wikus somewhat enthusiastically commenting on the popping sounds being that of those baby prawns.
  • A prawn vomits out a great deal of thick, black goo.
  • We see an adult prawn urinating while standing (no genitalia is viewed).
  • We see a severed cow's head.
  • Wikus' hand appears to be badly bruised and/or burned.
  • Wikus vomits a great deal.
  • Wikus has a bloody nose, but what's coming out is thick black fluid of some sort.
  • One of Wikus' fingernails comes completely off (leaving a bloody area) and then he tests the others (by biting on them), with most okay but one comes off in his mouth (also somewhat bloody).
  • We see some superstitious Nigerians eating various severed and bloody alien body parts (thinking doing so will give them sort of powers or abilities).
  • Wikus returns home (we hear intestinal sounds) and starts to tell his wife that he may have "crapped my" but can't finish the thought as she and others throw a surprise party for him. He tries to make his way to the bathroom but keeps getting pulled aside (we hear more intestinal sounds) and he then vomits thick black fluid all over his cake and other stuff on a table. That's followed by him collapsing onto that table.
  • We see a blood-soaked bandage unwrapped from around Wikus' hand to reveal that it's now transformed into a prawn hand.
  • We see various dead, bloody and partially dissected prawns (very gross looking) in a human lab.
  • To make Wikus use his new prawn hand to fire alien weapons (that only operate when contacted by prawn DNA), researchers repeatedly shock him. He shoots various inanimate objects, followed by a live prawn being lined up in front of him, and since the weapon is locked in place, he can't do anything but react with the next shock that fires the weapon and obliterates the prawn (quick blood/gore, with some spraying back onto Wikus).
  • We see a machete being chopped down through the open mouth of a severed cow's head.
  • While eating, Wikus reacts in disgust as he retrieves two of his teeth from his mouth.
  • Distraught about his condition, Wikus steals an ax and prepares to cut off his alien arm, but ends up only cutting off one claw, with bloody results (and pain for him).
  • Some blood drops down onto Wikus' shoe.
  • We see various open sores on Wikus' body, and he tears into one, pulling back a flap of skin.
  • The Nigerian gang leader takes a knife to Wikus' bloody and gross prawn arm, and then tastes the bloody fluid off the tip of that.
  • We see bloody results as various humans are obliterated by an alien weapon fired by Wikus.
  • The Nigerian gang attacks the MNU soldiers, including firing a rocket launcher with the explosive hitting a truck. That results in a gun battle, with resultant injuries and deaths, some of which are bloody.
  • Nigerian gang members and MNU soldiers (including Koobus) are bloody during a gun battle, while a probe gets the leader in the head, causing that to explode.
  • Wikus enters a large robot that he then controls (and protects him from gunfire blasted at him). He then shoots various gang members, including blowing off one's arm, with bloody results. That's followed by other bloody results as more humans are shot, while Christopher has some blood on him, and Wikus is bloody after his robot is damaged and he ends up injured.
  • Koobus shoots two prawns before the rest grab and graphically dismember him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • People develop racist style attitudes toward the prawns, including comments expressed directly by some, while various related signs ("No non-humans") are also seen. Eventually MNU is brought in to evict and relocate the prawns from their shanty homes to what are essentially concentration camps. At the same time, various prawns act belligerently and violently toward the humans.
  • Koobus has a bad attitude toward Wikus and the prawns.
  • We see two large alien insects battling, with one stabbing and killing the other with its sharp tail (done in the equivalent of a cockfight for the enjoyment of others).
  • A human warns a prawn that he'll cut his "balls" off.
  • Wikus and his team come across a shack where various dead and bloody animals are strung up, with fluids from them running down via tubes to feed baby prawns. One of the men then fires a flamethrower into the scene, with Wikus somewhat enthusiastically commenting on the popping sounds being that of those baby prawns.
  • Some Nigerian gang members, who take advantage of the prawns desire for cat food (to eat, in exchange for goods or high prices) fool a prawn while doing business with him, ending with slamming a machete down into his back.
  • We learn that Wikus' father-in-law got him the important job heading up the prawn relocation efforts.
  • We see various dead, bloody and partially dissected prawns (very gross looking) in a human lab (the result of experiments done on them).
  • Tania's father lies to her about what's happened to Wikus.
  • A falsified news story is played on TV about Wikus, stating he's participated in prolonged sexual activity with prawns (with a still image showing him behind one, with part of the image blurred out).
  • The authorities want Wikus, not only to examine his now altered DNA, but also because he's the only human who can fire the prawn weapons.
  • Christopher tells Wikus that the former's child likes Wikus, saying they are the same, but Wikus is repulsed by the idea.
  • Wikus is willing to help Christopher retrieve a fluid that will allow him to return to his spaceship, but is only doing so in hopes that Christopher can revert his own arm back to human form.
  • The Nigerian gang leader jokes about reports of Wikus having sex with prawns, holding up a non-explicit photo and asking if he did it "doggy style with a demon" and if he wore a condom.
  • After hearing it will take Christopher three years to find a cure for Wikus (with Christopher saying he has to help his people first), Wikus knocks out Christopher and attempts to steal his transport ship. Not realizing Wikus and Christopher's child are down below the shack, Koobus then arrives and strikes Christopher, wanting info out of him and stating he'll enjoy watching him die.
  • Koobus has a bad attitude toward Wikus who he's been ordered to bring back alive. After a big battle, he calls Wikus as "half-breed piece of sh*t" and prepares to kill him, but is stopped.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Officials discover many malnourished aliens ("prawns") inside the broken-down spaceship (seen from a distance).
  • We see a blood-soaked bandage unwrapped from around Wikus' hand to reveal that it's now transformed into a prawn hand.
  • Wikus hears that he's going to be sacrificed for testing purposes, but as a chest saw nears him, he breaks free and hits various humans before escaping.
  • Distraught about his condition, Wikus steals an ax and prepares to cut off his alien arm, but ends up only cutting off one claw, with bloody results (and pain for him).
  • The Nigerian gang leader takes a knife to Wikus' bloody and gross prawn arm, and then tastes the bloody fluid off the tip of that. Wikus is then held down so that they can cut off his arm, but he manages to grab a prawn weapon that blasts various gang members backwards. He then holds that on the leader as others aim their guns on him, resulting in a gun standoff.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Futuristic alien weapons: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see various alien weapons.
  • Various human guards carry machine guns.
  • Some Nigerians drive by, firing their weapons in the air from the back of a pickup truck.
  • Nigerian gang members hold guns on Wikus.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Listen to me, you f*ck," "F*ck off" (stated and in subtitles), "Sign the f*cking paper," "F*ck it," "F*cking little rat," "What the f*ck are you doing?" "F*ck your wife" (nonsexual), "F*ck me" (nonsexual), "You little f*ckers," "Sneaky f*cking prawns," "Don't f*cking look at me," "For f*ck's sake," "Where the f*ck is he?" "Get the f*ck out," "Oh f*ck," "It's a f*cking dead end," "Shut the f*ck up," "You f*cking coward," "Oh sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "That little sh*t-head," "You half-breed piece of sh*t," "I'll cut your balls off," "Doggy style with a demon," "Bloody," "Prawn" and "Little bastard."
  • Some of the fighting, stunts and other action might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • We see graffiti that's noted as being prawn gang related.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • As Wikus examines a strange prawn canister, fluid from that suddenly sprays in his face.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, ominous and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None, but a rap song contains lyrics in another language, so there's always the possibility that some part of that might contain something objectionable.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 137 "f" words, 10 "s" words, 1 crap and 1 use each of "Oh God," "Oh Jesus" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Tania shows a little cleavage.
  • A human warns a prawn that he'll cut his "balls" off.
  • There's a comment about the development of interspecies prostitution, and we see a clothed human hooker walking along.
  • We see Wikus shirtless in a lab.
  • A falsified news story is played on TV about Wikus, stating he's participated in prolonged sexual activity with prawns (with a still image showing him behind one, with part of the image blurred out).
  • On the phone talking to his wife, Wikus tells her the stories she's heard are false, that he hasn't had sex with the prawns or engaged in any pornographic activity.
  • The Nigerian gang leader jokes about reports of Wikus having sex with prawns, holding up a non-explicit photo and asking if he did it "doggy style with a demon" and if he wore a condom.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Tania worries about Wikus after he's unexpectedly whisked away by authorities and no one will let her see him.
  • Christopher is worried about his child and vice-versa when they're separated.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The film's various analogies and metaphors about reactions to illegal aliens, apartheid, and more.
  • How the film makes the viewer change their perception of the prawns from despicable and ugly scavengers (basically unequal to humans) to beings that need to be respected.
  • How Wikus' experience similarly changes his view toward the aliens.
  • VIOLENCE
  • One prawn is pushed to a wall and there's some related struggling.
  • Some prawns are shot, presumably dead.
  • We see a dead human on the ground (from unseen violence).
  • Weapons are fired at humans.
  • A prawn knocks a clipboard from Wikus' hand when the latter arrives to evict him.
  • A prawn kicks a person back quite hard, followed by a human shooting that prawn.
  • We see two large alien insects battling, with one stabbing and killing the other with its sharp tail (done in the equivalent of a cockfight).
  • Wikus and his team come across a shack where various dead and bloody animals are strung up, with fluids from them running down via tubes to feed baby prawns. One of the men then fires a flamethrower into the scene, with Wikus somewhat enthusiastically commenting on the popping sounds being that of those baby prawns.
  • A prawn fires a weapon that results in a large explosion.
  • A prawn knocks Thomas and then Wikus aside and backwards (quite hard for both), followed by Koobus shooting the alien from a chopper and then down on the ground via a handgun for the kill shot to the head.
  • The prawn child throws something back at Wikus, hitting him with it.
  • Some Nigerian gang members fool a prawn while doing business with him, ending with slamming a machete down into his back.
  • After learning he now has a prawn hand, guards or soldiers grab and struggle with Wikus before bagging and taking him away for observation and testing.
  • To test Wikus' surprising alien hand, a researcher drills into that, causing Wikus pain.
  • To make Wikus use his new prawn hand to fire alien weapons (that only operate when contacted by prawn DNA), researchers repeatedly shock him. He shoots various inanimate objects, followed by a live prawn being lined up in front of him, and since the weapon is locked in place, he can't do anything but react with the next shock that fires the weapon and obliterates the prawn (quick blood/gore, with some spraying back onto Wikus).
  • Wikus hears that he's going to be sacrificed for testing purposes, but as a chest saw nears him, he breaks free and hits various humans before escaping.
  • After Wikus is identified in a deli, the owner or a worker fires a shotgun at him as he flees.
  • Distraught about his condition, Wikus steals an ax and prepares to cut off his alien arm, but ends up only cutting off one claw, with bloody results (and pain for him).
  • We hear the sound of a woman's cries from being hit somewhere off-screen by Nigerian gang members.
  • The Nigerian gang leader takes a knife to Wikus' bloody and gross prawn arm, and then tastes the bloody fluid off the tip of that. Wikus is then held down so that they can cut off his arm, but he manages to grab a prawn weapon that blasts various gang members backwards. He then holds that on the leader as others aim their guns on him, resulting in a gun standoff.
  • There's a big blast and explosion in the MNU headquarters.
  • Wikus and Christopher infiltrate the MNU headquarters, with Wikus being shot (but he's wearing a vest and is okay), while Christopher blasts and obliterates that other human. That's followed by a gun battle, where humans fire machine guns at Wikus who takes cover and occasionally fires back with the alien weapon, obliterating some of them (with bloody results).
  • A machine gun is fired down from a chopper at Wikus and Christopher traveling in a truck.
  • After hearing it will take Christopher three years to find a cure for Wikus (with Christopher saying he has to help his people first), Wikus knocks out Christopher and attempts to steal his transport ship. Not realizing Wikus and Christopher's child are down below the shack, Koobus then arrives and strikes Christopher, wanting info out of him and stating he'll enjoy watching him die.
  • Wikus lifts off in a transport craft, but rockets are fired at it, with one hitting and blowing off an engine, resulting in the craft crashing (those inside survive).
  • The Nigerian gang attacks the MNU soldiers, including firing a rocket launcher with the explosive hitting a truck. That results in a gun battle, with resultant injuries and deaths, some of which are bloody.
  • The prawn mother ship is reactivated, and the deep rumbling bass blows out the windows in many of the city's buildings.
  • Nigerians have guns on Wikus and hold him down, while more MNU soldiers arrive, resulting in a continuation of the gun battle where more are hit, including at least one with a grenade. A remote-controlled and large robot then arrives and blasts one gang member, while stopping and "collecting" machine gun bullets in front of it before flinging them back en masse, striking all of the gunmen. A probe gets the leader in the head, causing that to explode.
  • Christopher is hit with a rifle and then several times with a rod of some sort, followed by a punch to the gut.
  • Wikus enters a large robot that he then controls (and protects him from gunfire blasted at him). He then shoots various gang members, including blowing off one's arm, with bloody results. In that robot, Wikus then runs along with Christopher, providing some cover from the gunfire at them, while Christopher holds up a large piece of metal as a shield for the same. A huge gun blasts and downs the robot, with Wikus shooting others, followed by a truck purposefully smashing into the robot that flips over the vehicle. Wikus uses the robot to blast even more people, including hitting a pig that then smacks back into one of them. As the alien transport craft lifts off, a human fires a rocket at it, but Wikus uses the robot to catch and discard that missile that explodes. Another truck smashes into the robot, downing it, followed by Koobus shooting it, resulting in fluid pouring out and Wikus then crawling out, injured, once the robot is completely defeated.
  • Koobus shoots two prawns before the rest grab and graphically dismember him.



  • Reviewed August 6, 2009 / Posted August 14, 2009

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