Matt Damon vs Robots
In the biggest unexpected moment of my day, I pulled a hail Mary and got into Hall H. I managed to saunter in about 20 minutes into the Sony panel. That meant that I missed Total Recall. But hey, that opens in about three weeks so who gives a fuck.
Managed to sit down as Looper was beginning, which looks good. I sadly passed out for a few minutes after the footage was shown. Hey it was a long day, I was tired and listening to dumb questions being asked to the cast got boring. Now, the reason I was excited to be there was the closing film.
MC Ralph Garman (Garmystrong) brought out director Neil Blomkamp who gave a rousing introduction about how the footage we were about to see wasn’t anywhere near complete. But that he didn’t mind that as this was Comic-Con and it’s somewhat of an honor to debut footage here.
Then, lights dimmed, and said footage was shown.
What appeared before 6500 people was goddamn amazing. It opens with a shot of Earth, a wasteland. Cut to a floating circular satellite that is home to the rich and powerful of society. A place were there’s no crime, no disease and (sure has hell) no poor from earth. As the cue card explains this, we see a shot of some refugees trying to get to Elysium (the satellite home for the rich) via a spaceship which is promptly shot down. Security is tight, and it’s run by Jodie Foster.
We are introduced to Matt Damon’s character, a former convict, who works in the wasteland of Earth. He’s stopped by a pair of droids that lay down some police brutality on him. After being beaten, Damon’s character is told he’s missed his parole hearing. Smash cut to his parole officer, a Bob’s Bigboy looking robot thing that has a voice box mouth. Damon is told that his parole is extended for another six months.
Cut to Damon’s job. He works for a factory where William Fichtner oversees everything. While working, Damon is caught in an air locker looking room and exposed to high levels of radiation. When he comes to, a medical droid tells him he’s got about five days left to live. The droid gives him some pills and says thanks for your service. Dying, he knows his only hope is on Elysium. But getting there is another problem.
We’re introduced to a shady friend of Damon’s that explains that there’s a way to get him to Elysium. They’re going to download the information from his boss (William Fichtner) and head to Elysium to hack their systems. Damon is then fitted with an exoskeleton and his skull is implanted with a device that will hold the hijacked information.
Cut to Damon and co. attacking William Fichtner’s ship. High power tech is used in very violent ways. Droids are sent to fight but are taken down. A signal goes out to Elysium that one of their own is being attacked. We’re then introduced to a very homeless looking Sharlto Copley being called on. He hops in a ship and is dropped in on the attack of Damon and Co, who have stolen William Fichtner’s information. Copley pulls out a massive samurai looking sword and starts to lay out ungodly hate upon everyone. He and Damon then clash in a epic looking fight that end in a stalemate after Damon escapes and starts heading to Elysium, with Copley in chase. A small barrage of images are shown after that, but that’s the gist of the footage shown.
Mother of GOD was it fantastic. I think Blomkap has made yet another sleeper hit looking film. Sure, this time around, more people know to keep an eye out for his talent, but he looks to have made the best anime film that is neither animation or Japanese. There’s a distinctive look in the cinematography like District 9′s, but far cleaner. The footage was bloody, filled with swearing, and very goddamn gritty. The biggest surprise was Copley, who got a HUGE reaction when everyone realized who he was. He was almost unrecognizable for a moment until he talked. Copley is the exact opposite of his Wikus character from District 9. A true bad ass who clearly is a professional that enjoys his job.
Blomkamp said that the footage was still rough, but the Droids/robots looked really clean in the footage. There’s one shot of Damon ripping off it’s head that had Hall H cheering. Damon himself, looked awesome. He’s pissed off, and looks like he’s seen hell. Jodie Foster wasn’t featured too much. What was shown had her sporting some weird accent and looking very corporate.
As for the rest, the world Blomkamp has created looks filthy, used and worn in. The tech, while futuristic, appeared like they were second generation pre used. Detail, one of Blomkamps strengths. The wasteland scenes were filmed in a dump in Mexico City.
As for the rest of the panel, it was filled with the usual dumb questions by the audience that either couldn’t think of a good question and just wanted to talk to the celebs, or were told they couldn’t ask their question. Seriously, nothing was gained in the Q&A section. But that footage was something special. Elysium looks to be the sleeper hit of 2013 and cement Blomkamp as a MAJOR force to watch out for.