There’s a reason why the aliens are referred to as “Prawns”; they aren’t the most attractive looking creatures this side of the camera. But that’s exactly what you want from an alien movie, so I have to admit that this is something they got right.
District 9 featured alien weaponry and machinery, the kind you’d expect to find in popular FPS games. For Blomkamp, this has become a bit of a running theme; one that loses its luster with each movie installment. Don’t get me wrong; the weapons are super-cool, and the fact that our protagonist uses them in his fight for freedom (and presumably for “alien rights”), is really part of what makes this movie as good as it is.
Chiefly, the problem is with an utter lack of characterization. There isn’t much distinction from one weapon to another, besides the effects they have on their targets. If you want to incorporate video game style weapons, awesome, but you should probably take some time to introduce them to the audience, even if it’s just in passing. The weapons are cool, but in the end – as an audience – we just don’t care, if you catch my drift.
I like the concept; I really do. The alien ship, the weapons, the armor Wikus uses to save his alien friend… they do look fantastic, and I’m happy to see such attention to detail. I just wished I cared more, and I don’t think the movie earned that kind of attachment.
With all of that in mind, you do have to give props where they are due, and this is exactly the quality of effects and visuals one would expect from a modern Sci-Fi. Well done.