… is being marketed as a science fiction film with a political message.
Sort of. In functional terms it’s a high-tech shoot-’em-up action-adventure flick crossed with a horror flick. Nice lead performance by Sharlto Copley as a low-grade Eichmann; everything else was mere formula, and to my eyes not very heartfelt formula at that.
The story is, though far from plausible either techically or organizationally, well enough told to remain engaging. The politics, not so much.
Peter Jackson really, really wants us to know that multinational companies with private armies aren’t nice. Noted. I’m glad he told me – or rather, pounded the message into my head with a hammer for two hours – or I might have confused Blackwater with the Red Cross. And of course I’d never thought before about the problem of corporate and governmental interests using their power to distort mass-media coverage.
While introducing aliens is always a good way to critique intra-homo sapiens divisions, if I were Nigerian I’d regard the depiction of Nigerians in the film as pretty blatantly xenophobic. Black South Africans and Afrikaaners are shown as ignorant and bigoted (blacks somewhat more than Afrikaaners); the English South Africans, especially the two “experts” whose TV interviews act as the Chorus, tend to be much more intelligent and, in some cases, thoughtful, though some of the corporate Bad Guys are also English South Africans.
This one is up with Angel Heart and Aguirre, the Wrath of God on my list of films I would pay good money to be able to forget.