As we start to get into the second half of the year, Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium is at the top of genre fans’ most anticipated movies list. This follow up to his 2009 directorial debut, District 9, seems to expand the South African filmmaker’s look at social class and inequality. Melding political themes with future tech is his specialty. District 9 played around with notions of alien tech and weaponry, and in Elysium, Blomkamp takes a different look at droids in the future. A new featurette takes a look at the various types of droids featured in the science fiction allegory, and trust me, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
The video centers on two of the many different droids in Elysium, including Blomkamp’s favorite, The Department of Homeland Security drone. Slick and lethal, these automatons appear to be issued for every citizen of the orbiting space station. They are “special ops” droids, only used for protection when Elysium citizens have to venture to Earth. But because Max De Costa’s (Matt Damon) gets an eksoskeleton “upgrade,” he now stands a fighting chance against them.
The second droid is the Civil Service droid that appears in the film’s viral marketing campaign and theatrical trailer. Surprisingly, these droids are a source for brief comedy in the otherwise serious film. Damon describes them as “a bureaucracy nightmare,” and “the DMV on steroids.”
These droids are just one part of what makes Blomkamp’s movie so interesting and are something exciting to watch out for. While Elysium is only Blomkamp’s second film, you can tell from the trailer that it features a well-developed future world with new customs, governments, and ways of life. Thus far in his career, his movies combine heavy action with social awareness, and he’s quickly become an “event” director. All of these elements come together to showcase of full and vast movie-going experience that should be thrilling.
Elysium takes place in the year 2154. The world’s population is separated into two opposite social classes: the powerful and mega-wealthy live a luxurious, care-free lifestyle on an orbiting space station called Elysium, while everyone else is dirt poor and left to survive on the limited food and water supply in the ruins of the overpopulated Earth.
After a deadly factory accident, Max is left with only five days to live, and his only hope for survival is to accept a very dangerous mission to the orbiting space station to find a cure. Standing in his way is Secretary Delecourt (Jodie Fosters), the hard-line head of Elysium. It is her duty to protect the wealthy from poor outsiders and poverty. She enforces her strict anti-immigration laws by sending a villainous bounty hunter named Kruger (Sharlto Copley) to stop Max at any cost.
Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi film also stars Wagner Moura, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, William Fichtner, and Faran Tahir as Minister Patel. Elysium hits theaters everywhere in IMAX on August 9.