Ever since ‘District 9′ became a late Summer 2009 smash (and an unlikely Oscar contender), fans and moviegoers have been eager to see what writer/director Neill Blomkamp would dream up next. There was a weird You Tube clip about a mutant creature, but that seems to have stalled. The real answer lies in something known as ‘Elysium,’ a big budget action adventure with just the right amount of political commentary to differentiate its commerciality.
Indeed, the premise screams social critique, since it concerns an ex-con (Matt Damon) who lives with the rest of the underprivileged populace on an Earth ravaged by some kind of cruel future shock. The elites, however, live on a space station called Elysium where they are protected from harm (and infiltration by the desperate undesireables below) by a despotic official (Jodie Foster) and her elite forces (led by ‘District 9′ star Sharlto Copley as Kruger).
The first trailer for the August 9th release offered some intriguing peeks into the possible paths Blomkamp would take. Now, with this extended preview, we get more of the story – the dire situation on Earth, Damon’s past as a car thief, an accident which puts his life in danger, a little girl who also needs some kind of care, a group of friends who outfit him like the Bionic Man, the arrival of the similarly-mechanized Kruger as a Terminator like rival – all awash in the filmmaker’s famed visual style. Have a look:
While we might not need another dystopian view of what lies ahead (thank you very much ‘Oblivion‘ and ‘After Earth‘) Blomkamp has proven that he can invest even the most awe-inspiring eye candy with a healthy dose of thought-provoking ideas. In two months, we’ll find out if he’s awards bound again.