First 'Elysium' Trailer Pulls the Trigger on Brainy, Suspenseful Sci-Fi

Elysium

With District 9, writer/director Neill Blomkamp made us want to believe that satisfyingly smart sci-fi could make money at the box office. Now, with the first trailer for Elysium, he's making us think his last film's success may have only been the beginning.

Starring a resplendently bald Matt Damon, Elysium pits the populace of a ruined Earth against the wealthy residents of Elysium, a sort of gilded space fortress where those with enough resources to escape our flawed planet can enjoy lives of incredible comfort and luxury -- right down to medical technology that can simply scan cancer right out of a person's body.

Naturally, the folks back home are a little pissed off about this, and they find their champion in Damon's character, who makes up his mind (for reasons unaddressed in the trailer) that he's going to storm Elysium with the help of a black market exoskeleton bolted onto his body with a bone saw.

Oh, and Jodie Foster's around, too.

Like District 9, Elysium seems to find Blomkamp dealing with the tension between the haves and the have-nots, as well as matters of social justice -- but if Elysium bears even the faintest echo of its predecessor's plot, that's a forgivable sin, because -- as the trailer makes clear -- these are rich, almost infinitely compelling themes.

Elysium is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 9. Have a look at the clip below, and mark your calendars accordingly.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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