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FILM Issue 54 / 2013 elysium Neill Blomkamp's District 9 was an electrifying debut, and this one is also not to be missed. August 21st Weaving sharp commentary on xenophobia and segregation into its central story without missing a single heart-racing beat. Blomkamp's skill was rewarded – District 9 found universal praise, four Oscar nominations (including a nod for Best Picture) and a cult star in the form of Sharlto Copley. Copley reappears in this follow-up, but what about Blomkamp's verve? Elysium proves to be just as adept as its predecessor at juxtaposing its lofty political quests with formidable action sequences. Matt Damon stars as Max, an ex-con toiling away on what remains of planet Earth in 2154, along with the everyone else on societies lower tier. The privileged live in the selfcontained paradise of the title, presided by Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), who maintains a strict anti-immigration regime. Thanks to advanced health pods, disease is a thing of the past for the denizens of Elysium. So when a factory accident exposes Max to a lethal dose of radiation, he becomes a surprise revolutionary in his bid to access the celestial space shuttle and restore his health. The Earth-set scenes ape District 9's bleak shanty town aesthetic. Its dwellersareatthemercyofoppressive law enforcers, and for a short while it's hard to stomach the sight of the all-powerfulJasonBornelivingunder theirthumb.Onceequippedwithsome bionicabilities,however,hemakesfor classicheromaterial.Snarkyintheface ofauthoritybutsweetinthecompanyof hisfriendandnurseFrey(AliceBraga) and her daughter, he's an easy guy to rootfor.HismainopponentisRhodes' henchman Kruger (Copley), a vicious mercenarywholeadssomeimpressive battles against Max. Foster brings an edge class to the sci-fi carnage, while Damon chews on his character's nothingto-lose spirit with such vigour, it's hard to believe both Eminem and Ninja of South African raprave unit Die Antwood were strongly considered for the role. With Elysium, Blomkamp has avoided a sophomore slump by streamlining a proven formula. However entertaining it may be, here's hoping that his next feature elevates him to Hollywood's own upper ranks. 11 7 Coming SooN About time September 4th Domhnall Gleeson ensnares Rachel McAdams with his newfound time-travelling abilities. Touted to be the final film by Four Weddings and a Funeral writer Richard Curtis. Riddick September 4th The Chronicles of Riddick continue as the titular antihero finds himself stranded and fighting against alien predators. In A World... September 13th Actress Lake Bell makes her directorial debut with this award-winning festival hit. Bell stars as an aspiring voiceover artist, with appearances from Geena Davis and Eva Longoria.

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