Preview: Neill Blomkamp returns with 'Elysium' trailer

South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp won critical and commercial acclaim in 2009 with his debut feature, District 9. It's taken the director four years, but his eagerly awaited sophomore effort - entitled Elysium (2013) - is now mere months away. Earlier this week, we saw the first poster for the futuristic sci-fi, and now a full-length trailer has been revealed. In the year 2154, two classes of people exist; the impoverished struggle on the Earth's ruined surface, whilst the wealthy reside in 'Elysium', a man-made space station that orbits the planet. In need of medical care only available on Elysium, Max (Matt Damon) takes on a dangerous mission that pits him against Elysium Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster).

The first trailer plays its cards close to its chest, but what it does reveal is very promising indeed. We see our protagonist, Max, being implanted with a robotic exoskeleton that will apparently allow Damon's bald character to "override their [Elysium] whole system." The brutal decapitation of a cybernetic guard also underlines its substantial 'perks' when facing up against seemingly insurmountable odds. Also glimpsed are the significant medical advancements on Elysium, in addition to District 9 star Sharlto Copley's bearded and grizzled security guard. Additionally, it's clear from the preview footage on display that an underlying social commentary will play a huge part in Elysium, as with Blomkamp's debut.

The vastly different lifestyles of the rich and the poor bring Andrew Niccol's In Time (2011) to mind, but that film squandered its engaging premise. It's perhaps more of a safe bet to suggest that Blomkamp won't allow the same to happen, and if Elysium can pack a wallop in both action and story, it stands a good chance of eclipsing the well-received District 9. In addition to Damon, Foster and Copley, a strong supporting cast has been assembled for Blomkamp's latest, including William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Faran Tahir and Diego Luna.

Neill Blomkamp's Elysium is released in UK cinemas on 20 September, 2013.

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