Wow. That was the first word out of my mouth when this astonishing, intense hard sci-fi exploration on prejudice and apartheid ended. Director Neill Blomkamp and producer Peter Jackson have crafted a fascinating film that, while flawed, is a significant new addition to the ranks of serious science fiction movies, along with Alien, Blade Runner, The Matrix, and the like.
The treatment of the aliens by humans is shocking in this movie, they’re treated as the lowest scum who have no feelings, no social structure and no motivation. At one point it’s explained that they’re “workers” and lack a leader, but many times I winced as a human would kick, punch or otherwise hurt a “prawn”. It’s supposed to be shocking, of course, and indeed, the point of the film is to explore how humans can torment and be so monstrous to each other.