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Neill Blomkamp

Elysium – Neill Blomkamp (2013)

Somehow I see a lot of Matt Damon films recently. Here he is with no hair again. This time more his usual genre though: action.

Actually this is more of a dystopian scifi. A century from now earth is an overpopulated mess. Rich people have moved to the space station Elysium which resembles earth in better days.

Damon plays a man with a troubled past. After an accident at work he needs to go to Elysium because there are ‘curing machines’ there. With a group of heavy criminals he forges a plan.

The film has a bit of a “Mad Max” atmosphere which is good. The parts with Jody Foster as ruthless minister at Elysium as less strong. There is some annoying drama too and the last 15 minutes are downright awful. A dreary ‘the people you are supposed to sympathize with’ against those you do not.

Not bad, too bad about the end.

Chappie – Neill Blomkamp (2015)

The description for “rebel robot” is more interesting than the film. In a crime-filled future Johannesburg the police uses police robots to fight the gangs that try to control the city. One of the creators of these robots uses one of them to experiment with artificial intelligence and hence “Chappie” is ‘born’.

What I thought would be an amusing action film is a bit of a childish film with cheap drama and a bit of action. The film raises a few questions about AI, but it is all too thin for my liking.

District 9 * Neill Blomkamp (2009)

District 9We just wanted to go to the cinema, not to see a film in particular, but it is disappointing what is in the cinemas these days, even the arthouses. “District 9” was the only film that I might want to see and so we did. Blomkamp starts with some sort of mockumentary which explains the situation. It involves aliens in a ghetto in Johannesburg, everything besides that already gives away too much. When the film switches to a more ‘normal’ film, a very original story develops, mixing current social problems (xenophobia, etc.) with weird scifi elements. The key element of the ‘black stuff’ is a bit thin to me, but the writers came up with something original for sure. Towards the end “District 9” develops into a complete over-the-top action slasher which is not really my thing. The film as a whole is not too good in my opinion, but it is the story, the great findings therein and and the documentary part that make this film worth a watch.