District 9

Rated 3.0

Aliens arrived in a giant mothership that parked over Johannesburg, South Africa, 20 years ago. A ghetto ship packed with confused drones dumped on Earth’s porch like a box of malnourished puppies. The humans helpfully relocate them from the squalid conditions of their space raft and move them into District 9, a barbed-wire-embraced field of tin-roofed shanties. But after 20 years, the citizenry of Joburg has had enough of the depreciation of property values, and a corporation, Multi-National United, steps in to clean up the mess. As head of the relocation project, Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is dispatched to serve an eviction notice. And so begins a very, very bad day for Wikus. Here, South African expat Neill Blomkamp has crafted a clever allegorical sci-fi action vehicle, but by cloaking itself as a parable about apartheid, the film seems deeper than it really is. The allegory is never explored below the surface level and is discarded in the final stretch, as the film essentially turns into a first-person shooter filled with explosions and flying body parts. But as an action vehicle, ultimately District 9 does deliver the goods. Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated R