If you only see one South African sci-fi movie this year……

Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is an unlikely hero for our time. He’s a slightly dim bureaucrat who is assigned the job of clearing the aliens from a shanty town just outside Johannesburg, and frankly he blows it.

Part of the problem is he’s got the job through nepotism. His father in law is a high government official. The other thing is the aliens are from outer space, and Wikus, and the entire human race are over in over their heads.

Writer/director Neill Blomkamp has deftly created a film which provides the thrills and special effects which sci-fi fans crave. Yet it also delivers a parable about tolerance and the importance of looking at what lies beneath the surface (in this case quite literally.) Seen against the legacy of apartheid, Blomkamp’s film carried even more power.

This is a director to watch in the future.

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