I thought the movie kicked a lot of ass. I'm a sucker for faux documentary shaky cam, so that didn't bother me one bit. As for the Apartheid thing. Oh for Christ's sake who cares? I avoided spoilers for this movie pretty well, so I didn't even know going in that it was set in South Africa. I think this is just the case of people having preconceptions about what a movie is. You knew it was in South Africa, you knew it had allegorical elements in regard to Apartheid, and you manufactured an image of what the movie was that wasn't accurate. Boo hoo! Obviously the aliens appeared during the Apartheid era, which is only seen briefly for the purposes of giving background on the ALIENS, WHO WERE THE FOCUS OF THE DAMN MOVIE, and the rest of the movie takes place in the near future, where presumably Apartheid had ended in much the same way as it did in our reality. The allegory is for us to pick up on our own, not to be beaten into our heads with a sledgehammer. To the characters in the movie the alien issue isn't as obvious a parallel to apartheid because the aliens are SCARY SPACE INSECTS. If you had someone in the film say "this is just like how black people were treated in this country and it's wrong", it would be eye-roll inducing and lame. The movie felt somewhat inspired by Half-Life 2 and maybe video games in general. The weapons were cool, in a 'video game meets reality' kind of way that I hadn't really seen before. What with the lightning guns exploding people, gravity gun knockoffs, etc.. I loved the whole look and feel of the film from top to bottom. The action sequences were all pretty cool, and for the 30 million budget they did a fantastic job. What was the budget on that piece of shit GI Joe? The effects work in this was far more effective. Whereas District 9 at times 'felt' like a video game, GI Joe just 'looked' like a video game. I do have some issues with some of the story logic, but I guess they left the alien stuff vague enough to where the story logic isn't bad enough for me to feel insulted. I do wonder why they had to scavenge their own technology for 20 years on planet Earth where presumably they could've collected their tech and filled up their little magic galactic warp power canister much more quickly on their ship. Given the level of oppression they faced and the weapons technology at their disposal I would've thought they could've mounted an effective resistance. I know they said that they were 'stupid worker bee prawns' or whatever, it just seemed a little off. Also, I wouldn't have minded some explanation on how they had learned each others' languages well enough to communicate, but watchagonnado? As for having 'cliched plot elements', I'd hate to break it to you, but truly original plots are very few and far between. It's all in the execution, and I thought District 9 executed exceedingly well. I'd love to see where they'd go with a District 10, three years from now. Bring on the retaliatory alien invasion baby!