It's been four years since Neill Blomkamp exploded on to the movie scene with his acclaimed story about alien refugees; District 9, and since then movie nerds have been eagerly awaiting his follow-up project. The wait is nearly over though, as Elysium will be hitting cinemas later this month in the hopes of bringing movie-goers an original and exciting experience, as well as further cementing Blomkamp as one of the names to look out for in the future of Hollywood's more eccentric side.

Matt Damon
Matt Damon stars in the film

Check out more the pictures from Elysium's premiere

Set in the year 2154, Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) is living in an overly-populated, crime and war ravaged wasteland that is now but a shadow of Earth. One thing that has remained the same though is the huge gulf between rich and poor, one that has now extended past the stratosphere, because while the poor are left to fend for themselves on a barron wasteland, the privileged live on a settlement orbiting Earth called Elysium, where no poverty or crime exists and medical advancements that can eliminate illnesses such as cancer in half a second are readily available. The film's main antagonist, Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), is vehemently opposed to any form of integration between rich and poor and imposes strict immigration laws forbidding anyone of a lower class to be allowed into their utopia, no matter what their reason is. When he becomes sick, Max also becomes determined to survive, even if it means embarking on a suicidal mission to breach the satellite's security and obtain the medical resources that could save him and the rest of the suffering population.

Check out the Elysium trailer

As Empire's Kim Newman points out, the film is much more conventional that District 9, but conventional doesn't mean bad at all as he comments that the film all but "confirms Blomkamp as one of the potential science-fiction greats of this decade," as the South African filmmaker has once again excelled in bringing his unique vision to the big screen. Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman is equally as praiseworth of Blomkamp, predicting similar things in his review, in which he commends the "razory mayhem and shocking satire, for the crazed spectacle of future decay."

Most other reviews released so far are equally as praiseworthy, with most critics applauding Blomkamp for his excellently executed vision that is captivating and relevant to today. If there was one criticism though, it was the predictabilities of the film (that, and that it wasn't as good as the phenomenal District 9). Publications such as Twitch, NPR and the Associated Press agree that the film hasn't got what it takes to be held in the same regard as Blomkamp's last film, and that it underwhelms at the end far too much for it to be heralded as anything short of average at best. As Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News says, "Like some of the best sci-fi movies, it draws strength from a great idea. Then it settles for crunching battles and predictability."

Elysium will be out in cinemas worldwide on August 21.

Sharlto Copley Neill Blomkamp Matt Damon
Sharlto Copley (L), Neill Blomkamp (M) & Matt Damon (R) at an Elysium screening