Please don’t let Elysium be disappointing like Prometheus
Was there a bigger let down last year than Prometheus? All the hype, is-it-Alien/is-it-not-Alien, the series of good trailers and stellar viral marketing, Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender AND Idris Elba in a movie together, and then…it kind of sucked. A lot.
Sci-fi is hard. It’s why I’m not a big fan of the genre—it’s really very difficult to create a world that feels both authentic and fantastical. With fantasy, you can just chalk everything up to “magic did it”, but with sci-fi you have to pay service to the science part as much as you do the fiction part. So every time a new sci-fi movie starts getting hyped, my suspicions rise in direct proportion. I’ve been burned by bad sci-fi too many times to trust the trailer voice guy when he says, “The next great sci-fi adventure”.
The last sci-fi movie I really loved was District 9. It felt plausible, like that could actually happen in just that way (and it had Sharlto Copley, whom I adore). And now, four years later, writer/director Neill Blomkamp is following up District 9 with Elysium, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. And it looks AWESOME.
The plot is kind of hazy, as it always must be for projects like this thanks to the JJ Abrams School of SECRETY SECRETS, but it’s the future and all the rich people have moved into space and elected Jodie Foster their queen—you know how you can tell when she’s playing the villain? She wears a white suit—leaving everyone else to suffer in the nightmare hellscape of a burnt-out Earth. And really, since commercial space flights are being sold to the super rich as the next must-go destination, is it so hard to imagine that could happen?
Matt Damon, meanwhile, is stuck on sh*tty Earth and he’s all thugged-up with neck tats and a buzzed head and looking Bourne-beefy. And he’s…sick? Is someone else sick? Is there a Precocious Child In Danger? It’s hard to tell but whatever the reason, he’s got to go Elysium and he’s going to do it with a ROBOT SPINE.
Blomkamp blew the doors off with District 9, making a stylish and effective movie on the “limited” budget of $30 million (be proud, Canada, he’s a product of the Vancouver Film School). Imagine what he can do with Elysium’s budget, estimated in the $90-100 million range. Hopefully the final product is as good as the trailer suggests. Hopefully Elysium really will be a great sci-fi adventure and not, you know, Prometheus 2.