Can someone explain to me why District 9 is nominated for an Oscar this year? (N.B. I'm writing this before the awards ceremony, but I'm pretty confident it won't win Best Picture.) Seriously. What is it about this movie that makes it better than a dozen other movies this year, including Zombieland.
Wasn't this story of aliens trying to get home to escape their tormenting jailers a lot more credible when it was called Planet of the Apes? At least that movie didn't require subtitles.
Wasn't the story about a man being infected and becoming an alien more horrifying when it was called The Fly? If you want to tell a scary story about a man becoming a scary creature, shouldn't you use a better plot device than getting sprayed with motor oil? Maybe something to do with DNA or gene-splicing or teleportation devices?
And honest to Pete, if you want to tell a story about Aliens coming to Earth and trying to live together with humans, shouldn't you try to make the story better than Alien Nation, or V?
And how about pointless plot devices. Did the Wikus character even NEED a wife? And did she need to be, like 10 times hotter than him? And if she did, shouldn't the movie have explained why a hottie like that was married to an average looking doofus like Wikus?
How about the cylinder containing the magic motor oil. Couldn't the aliens have found a better hiding place for it than in a lunchbox on a shelf in the shack? Like, I don't know... I'm just spitballing here, but maybe they could have put it in the underground spaceship that they had successfully hidden for 20 frakkin years. For that matter, why didn't they distill the magic oil down there in the first place and completely avoid the risk of getting caught. Oh. And here's a thought. How about if the aliens watch a prison movie or something and get acquainted with the notion of having a lookout when they are doing something they don't want the authorities to see. Maybe they could have put off that whole "distilling the last crucial drop of magic oil" sequence for, like 10 minutes so they could sign the evacuation order and get the MNU to leave them alone.
It's too bad I don't have a hundred or so pages to list the rest of what's wrong with this movie. Things like
"Why do we allow Nigerians to live inside a prison and sell guns and cat food to the prisoners?"
"Why did Christopher Prawn try to fly the command module up to the mother ship, when he could have used the anti-gravity feature, which seems to be immune to rockets and bullets?"
"Why did it take the Prawns 20 years to find the last bit of magic motor oil, but when they did it was right on the top of the trash pile?"
"Why didn't Christopher Prawn have any friends that could have sat in the Robo-Cop suit while he was trying to get back to the ship. Or for that matter, when the MNU came to get his signature?"
I just wonder if the entire pitch session for this movie consisted of Peter Jackson saying "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to have a movie with wicked special effects prawn aliens?", and the studio answering "We'll fund it if you throw in some wicked South Africans who say 'fock' a lot."
Done, and done.