Sharlto Copley whimpering to himself softly as he eats cat food because he’s turning into an alien in District 9 was one of my favorite scenes in a sci-fi movie of the last 10 years, so it’s with obvious anticipation that I view the trailer for Elysium, South African writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up effort. This one stars Matt Damon, who recently wore a speedo and bought a zoo, not necessarily in that order. It opens August 9th.
The two slightly different synopses:
The impoverished inhabitants of a ruined planet Earth fight to join the safe and pristine living conditions of the space station Elysium, where only the wealthy reside. One resident of the planet’s slums must get to get to the space station and kidnaps someone in order to do so.
Set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
One of the things I liked so much about District 9 was that it sort of started like a parable, and then at a certain point got carried away exploring the world it had created for itself, mostly abandoned the parable, and became this slightly absurdist tall tale. You see that structure all the time in South Park episodes, or in the part of Life of Pi where Pi washes up on the carnivorous meerkat island. That’s my jam. You never know what’s going to happen. I can see hints at the same thing with Elysium, where it starts off as this possibly allegorical story about the people of Elysium being willing to do monstrous things to maintain their perfect lifestyles, as a parallel for capitalism or imperialism and whatnot, and then maybe it totally goes off the rails into a crazy action movie with the kidnap plot. Looks promising, is what I’m saying. Plus it has a dub-steppy braaahm soundtrack, which you hardly ever see in epic sci-fi trailers these days. BRAAAAAHM. BRAAAAAAHM. WUB WUB WUB…
But I swear to God, if Jodie Foster’s character says anything about “minimizing risk” I’m walking out.