The Flickering Myth writing team discuss the first trailer for Elysium…
Neill Blomkamp really made a name for himself when he directed a little movie called District 9 (with a little help from Peter Jackson’s money) and now he’s back with his new sci-fi movie Elysium.
In the year 2154 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.
The trailer was released last week and, as always, the Flickering Myth writing team had a few things to say about it…
Chris Cooper: Interesting. Very much in the vein of its predecessor it merges a bleak looking future, with technology and class divides. The attachment of the suit (which looks rather like Whiplash in Iron Man 2 to me) appears sufficiently painful! Colour me intrigued. If it’s anywhere near as good as District 9 we’re in for a treat. Hopefully Blomkamp isn’t overcome with a larger budget, as based on that first film he can do a lot with relatively little.
Robert W Monk: Think it looks great. Interesting setting and background that is bound to strike a chord with (nearly) everyone in these recession stuck times.
Luke Owen: I was pretty underwhelemed to be honest – it just looks like your average generic sci-fi action flick. I was one of the 5 people who wasn’t the biggest fan of District 9 so I can’t say that I’ll imtrigued by the director, but I am a big Matty Damon fan. I’ll wait to see if another trailer brings more, but for now I think I’m going to pass.
Ozzy Armstrong: I agree with Luke in that I am also not that full of whelm. I’ve been looking forward to this film for a while due to the excellent District 9 however his trailer hasn’t done much to keep me intrigued.
In a trailer that’s over two minutes long, we don’t really get to see much other than a robot Matt Damon, a beardy Sharlto Copley, some flashy lights and a the power to lift cars with bracelets.
Could have given us more to help generate a bit more buzz so for now, I’m still interested in the film itself, but a lot less so now I’ve seen the trailer.
Rohan Morbey: I liked the trailer even though it was pretty much the same old cookie-cutter produced clips we see in all trailers for big budget movies these days, which is harming their potential for success. You could cut together the trailers for Oblivion, After Earth, Pacific Rim, and Iron Man 3 and with the exception of the stars’ faces, there’s really not much difference. And in that lies the problem with CGI-reliant premises today…. That all look the same in the trailers and its hard to get excited. Personally I didn’t like District 9 but I’m still a fan of the difference a good leading man can have on a film, and being a big Matt Damon fan I have faith he’ll have chosen a good script to work on. Then again I said the same about Green Zone…
J-P Wooding: Like a lot of big budget sci-fi trailers, this looks good. It’s usually a safe bet if you have Matt Damon as your lead in an action movie and I’m sure Jodie Foster will be good. However, part of the reason that I, and many others, enjoyed District 9 was because it showed Blomkamp’s skills on a reduced budget. I just hope this doesn’t go the other way and cause his skills to become diluted by a budget; much the same as a talented football manager being given a huge transfer fund and losing sight of what he does best.
Villordsutch: I upset a few friends when I said I didn’t like District 9. I felt it didn’t know what it wanted to do and I couldn’t understand why everyone was clapping for it. I’m seeing Elysium is built from the same Hallmark Moral District 9 couldn’t help but cram down us, “Hey Blomkamp! I’ve seen the He-Man cartoon I can spot Morals these days.” and here we see that blueprint again, but with more cash. Also, another ‘looks cool’ gun fight at the end. I’ll possibly see this on DVD or Channel 5 (depends on which comes first). Shan’t be rushing to the cinema for it…Unless it’s free then I’m there.
Brogan Morris: I’m with Luke – didn’t like District 9 all that much, thought it was derivative and preachy, and Elysium looks to be offering the same kind of package. I like intelligent sci-fi, so I feel like I SHOULD be praising Elysium more, but the trailer makes it look so…generic. It doesn’t look like it has much more to say than Oblivion. Nothing really stood out in the trailer for me; even the sight of a bald Matt Damon was ruined by the paps months ago. I’m hoping what’s happened is the studio was so bewildered upon seeing a very unique final film, they just decided to produce the blandest trailer possible to draw in audiences.
David Bishop: Oh great. The Inception boom in a trailer. Haven’t heard that before. I loved District 9; a politically interesting film with a fantastic premise. However, like others have said, this trailer is very generic. I’m still looking forward to the film, hopefully it will turn out to be this year’s Looper.
Helen Murdoch: I’m quite excited by this trailer. I thought District 9 was superb and Elysium looks as if Blomkamp is sticking with his strengths.
I don’t think the trailer gave too much away which is a rarity nowadays. Although it was a standard trailer in terms of format it looks like an interesting story with a formidable cast and great effects. I’m sure Sharlto Copley will steal the show from Damon and Foster and I can’t wait.
Oliver Davis: Matt Damon, bald Borg. Looks cool.
Anghus Houvouras: David, the ‘Inception boom’ has a name: it’s called a BRAM. On the Elysium trailer, I’m of two minds. First: holy hell it is nice to see a sci-fii movie that looks like it was shot on practical locations. Theres something about the world of Elysium that seems real and tangible. Not these greenscreen messes weve become accustomed to. I cant even fathom a science fiction movie that feels like it takes place in the real world. It’s been so long. In fact, I think it was District 9.
Second: This trailer is so heavy handed im convinced the movie had to have been put together using the dense energy of a black hole. While the trailer doesnt give the movie away, it seems to give away the socio-economic political views of the 99 vs 1 percent mentality to a painstaking degree. If thats the foundation on which Elysium is built, im already bored.
Tom Jolliffe: Looks pretty good. In all honesty, all these big FX movies leave me pretty cold nowadays. I’ll watch this because I loved District 9, though this will prove to be far more conventional. The film will probably be a lot better than this fairly routine trailer.
Matt Smith: The trailer for a premise that should be at least exciting has left me a little underwhelmed. Though that may be because of the lack of memorable shots that I’ve grown used to seeing in trailers, despite the fact they’re not strictly necessary.
Colour-wise it looks like a cross between District 9 and Oblivion, a little of the heat of Blomkamp’s previous directorial effort lost (though fortunately not as grey as what I’ve seen of Oblivion).
The trailer gives us the story (with very heavy handed set up of ‘us’ vs ‘them’ which I was already bored of when the media started that nonsense back in the day). But apart from that, it doesn’t give much. So I’m not really sure what I think of the trailer. Which is an opinion within itself, probably the most irritating one because it’s undecided, but as much as I loved District 9 that was only one film.
Blomkamp still has to prove himself over features, but I’ll happily watch this if I’m assured the 99% stuff they’ve thrown in isn’t the major theme. And Matt Damon’s always worth a go, isn’t he?
Scott J Davis: Think this looks like a belter. Visually it looks (literally) out of this world, and if the story matches the images, we are in for a treat. Will be interesting to see Damon in this as he’s due a monster hit, and with Foster and the always brilliant Sharlto Copley, could be the summers surprise package.
So, a very mixed reaction from the writing team. Many think that it’s nothing more than ‘cookie cutter sci-fi fodder’ while others hold out hope that it will pull away from possible mediocrity.
What did you think of the trailer? Let us know in the comments…
Elysium is set for realse on August 9th in the US and September 20th in the UK.