DIST9_TSR_1SHT_3I really, really wanted to see this movie and was

  1. seriously miffed
  2. pretty indignant
  3. somewhat put out

that my friend Silvery Dude got there before me, and it became a point of honour to make sure that I saw it as soon as I could after him, so here we go:

The plot = so we are in Johannesburg twenty years after a space ship appeared in the sky above the city, filled with aliens who are ill, malnourished and unable to get home. They have been shunted into a refugee camp and treated as a lower form of life , and have become known (unpleasantly) as “prawns”. The camp has deteriorated over time, is riven with crime, and the local community wants to see it moved on, so a military unit backed by a weapons manufacturer is contracted to make this happen, led by a civil-servant-type called Wikus ven der Merwe. Things don’t go according to plan……

Not saying any more, you really need to see this to find out what happens.

What I loved about the movie = considering the budget for this movie the special effects are fantastic – the aliens and their interaction with human society really works and I forgot they weren’t real; the spaceship hanging over the city is really iconic; the development of Wikus is really effectively done; the gore is brilliant.

Dislikes or quibbles = minor thing (which others have pointed out I’m sure) about the documentary bits and whether they work with the main story, but this is really a very, very tiny issue and shouldn’t put anyone off.

Rating stuff = 15 (one use of very strong language and strong bloody violence)

Tissue count =  a little wobble at the end (which I found very moving)

Safety cushion = a couple of really gruesome moments which made me wince

Verdict = Grim, bleak, thought-provoking and highly recommended. This film led to one of the longest post-movie-discussions-over-dinner with the Book God since Knowing but for very, very different reasons. As far as I’m concerned one of the best films of the year.