One of the greatest achievements of Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 was the perfect balance of action, intelligence and politics. When it was released back in 2009, had there even been a science fiction movie – or any movie – that so expertly integrated these Holy Grails of filmmaking? While there are probably a few, the list would be short. Blomkamp had made his mark and thus announced to the world that he was a director to watch.
His follow up, Elysium, is poised to earn the same critical acclaim. But from what we know of Blomkamp as an artist, his only competition is himself. He’ll likely replicate District 9′s successes, without trying to do so. He’s been hard at work on this project for a long time – a none-too-common secret ingredient to a director’s ability to trump his previous efforts.
Matt Damon stars in this science fiction epic as a cancer patient stuck on the Earth’s surface, which has been reduced to a slum world for the poor. He decides to break into the space station (named Elysium) that hangs in the sky above the poor, where the rich live uncomplicated lives. Jodie Foster, who plays a station commander-in-chief, gets wind of the infiltration and sends Sharlto Copley on a by-any-means-necessary mission to stop Damon.
Based on the trailer and the following TV spot, we’ll get to see many of the things that we loved so dearly about District 9, but on a larger scale (read: bigger budget). The vision of the future is cynical but possible, a world in which Blomkamp can entertain and enlighten us.
Elysium opens on August 9th.