‘Elysium,’ the latest sci-fi action film from Neill Blomkamp, director of the fantastic, surprise hit ‘District 9’ has been released. Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and ‘District 9’ hero Sharlto Copley, and will be Blomkamp’s chance to prove that he was not just a one hit wonder. The story is based in 2159, a time when a select few live on a ‘eutopia’ known as Elysium, while the rest of the human race lives on a beat up and downtrodden future version of Earth. Plot details are thin, but we know that Matt Damon plays a working man from Earth who will look to infiltrate Elysium for personal and earth-wide gains. He will do so with the assistance of some form of mechanical exoskeleton that we see being installed onto his bosy in the trailer. Jodie Foster plays a woman who appears to be some form of leader on Elysium, while ‘D9’ star Sharlto Copley will play a villain of some kind.
The first thing I notice is a distinct visual similarly to ‘District 9’ and I would consider this to be a good thing. D9 had a wonderful contrast between a gritty, desert style Earth and mechanical spaceships and alien creatures. This is a very difficult contrast to make as it accentuates the computer generated effects in a way that could very easily make them look even more fake than they are. However, he and his team were able to somehow do this in seamless fashion. With a much bigger budget at his disposal, one can only imagine that he ought to be able to even enhance the films visual beauty, but hopefully not to the point where it lacks the visual grit, that D9 had.
The cast is strong here, so the performances shouldn’t be a problem, although for some reason I’m just not buying a bald, mechanical Matt Damon. I’m not sure why exactly. Perhaps it is because I’m so used to seeing him as an average Joe type of character, or just a normal man. Even in the ‘Bourne’ films, there is an average guy quality about him. Hopefully that sense will wear off as the film goes on.
District 9 was one of my favorite films of 2009, so I have very high hopes for ‘Elysium.’ Let’s hope it delivers the goods.