Four years and one failed "Halo" movie since Neil Blomkamp arrived on the scene with the gutsy sci-fi spectacular "District 9," he's finally back with another film and it sure looks like he had some more money to play with this time around. A dystopian vision of a world in which class is divided by planet, "Elysium" appears to put Blomkamp in familiar territory, rooting broad social commentary ("District 9" was a not so subtle allegory for Apartheid) in fierce action beats.
The cast is impressive – Matt Damon is our hero, but the good money says that Sharlto Copley steals the show as the villain – and the scale is absolutely massive. If nothing else, Blomkamp is undeniably a master of creating vivid and fully realized futures that exist deep into and well beyond the boundaries of the frame, and the opening shots of this trailer illustrate that skill as strongly as those depicting the alien craft floating over Johannesburg in his debut feature.
While it's too soon to tell if Blomkamp can use his visionary eye to revitalize an ostensibly familiar narrative, we're definitely excited at the prospect of a mega-budget blockbuster that isn't directly spawned from pre-existing material or even in 3D. At the very least, we can always squint and pretend that we're watching the most expensive "Good Will Hunting" fan-fic ever made.
"Elysium" hits theaters on August 9, 2013.