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Check Out The First Trailer For Elysium, Starring Matt Damon

Submitted by on April 10, 2013 – 9:20 amNo Comment

Neill Blomkamp set the bar pretty high with his first feature, 2009′s District 9. The low-budget sci-fi action thriller was heavy on social issues, and snagged an Oscar nomination for Best Picture- almost unheard of for a movie with so many aliens and explosions. For his follow-up Elysium, Blomkamp returns to familiar territory, albeit with a much higher budget:

The very first frames of the trailer announce a futuristic world completely segregated by class and wealth. At a press even, Blomkamp himself described the movie as ”a science-fiction take on the haves and have-nots and the separation of wealth,” though he hesitated to say that the Occupy movement affected his writing or directing. (Blomkamp, a native of South Africa, was clearly already wrestling with the legacy of apartheid and that country’s continuing divisions when he made District 9; so maybe he’s wary of applying the latest hot button labels to a work with deeper roots). Regardless, Elysium is already being called “an action movie for the 99%.”

The trailer shows Matt Damon as a bionically-enhanced have-not who plans to break into the upper class, heavenly Elysium. Culture Vulture offers a more detailed synopsis:

After a factory accident leaves Damon so irradiated that he’ll only live five more days, he realizes that the sole cure to his condition can be found on the technologically advanced Elysium. With the help of characters played by Wagner Moura and Diego Luna, then, Damon is grafted into a brawny mech suit resembling Sigourney Weaver’s power loader from Aliens (which Blomkamp cited as “my favorite movie of all time”) so that he can kidnap rich businessman William Fichtner, steal his identity, and hijack his way to Elysium.

That explanation leaves me with one big question: to paraphrase The Princess Bride, what has Damon got that’s so worth living for? I feel like there must be more to it than just one man’s survival. Maybe he’s got an estranged daughter or wife to save, or maybe his struggle takes on a larger purpose of fighting inequality. Or maybe with nothing left to lose, he does just go for it, even if it means bringing down society.

What do you think of the first look at Elysium?


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