With Gran Turismo racing into the theatres, it’s time to look back at the Neill Blomkamp filmography, which is a writing/directing portfolio that is very Sci-Fi.
District 9 Began The Neill Blomkamp Filmography
When it comes to modern Sci-Fi movies that you can’t ignore, District 9 is very high on this particular list. It’s a superb debut directing output from Neill, and it also put Sharlto Copley on the map as an actor to look out for. It’s a genius idea, in the sense that it captures what would probably happen if an Alien ship did actually land on Earth. If they had nothing to provide, then they would probably live in poverty, and District 9 captures that feeling throughout. It’s basically like a refugee camp for Aliens.
After Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) ends up being merged into Alien (Or should I say “prawn”) technology, he finds himself in hiding from the same government that he has been working for. District 9 is a really brutal journey, and along the way, Wikus can’t even trust those close to him. It’s an engaging watch from the moment you hit play.
Elysium Brings Blomkamp Into The A-List MainStream
Set in the year 2154, Elysium portrays class division once more, where you have the super-rich, living on a space station (Called Elysium!) on the outside of a completely decimated Earth. They live a completely different life from those trapped beneath them, and most notably, their health technology is very superior, and this is where the story starts. After a serious accident at work, Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) needs to get to a Med-Bay on Elysium before it’s too late. However, to gain safe passage to Elysium, Max cuts a deal where he must steal sensitive information in return. Alongside Matt Damon, is Jodie Foster as Delacourt & Sharlto Copley as Kruger, both of which are two rather exciting villains that Max Da Costa has to tackle. To add to this, the action scenes are pretty great.
CHAPPiE Was A Middling Entry In The Neill Blomkamp Filmography
So, just take one guess at who does the voice for the titular robot Chappie? That’s right, it’s Sharlto Copley again! At this point, it is clear to see that this pairing is working really well, for both fans and the creative team behind Neill’s writing/directing work. When Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) decides to steal a robot AI and attempt to give it consciousness, things, sadly for Deon, go drastically wrong. When Ninja & Yo-Landi (Die Antwoord) steal – what they end up calling – CHAPPiE from him, things take a turn.
Ninja & Yo-Landi want to use CHAPPiE to fight against the robot police that run the streets and to also take on various other crimes. Once again, we get that gritty feel that Neill is so well known for at this point. It’s hard to describe, but you really can tell that CHAPPiE, Elysium & District 9 are all from the exact same director, and that’s an achievement in itself. Alongside Dev Patel & Die Antwoord is Hugh Jackman as Vincent Moore & Sigourney Weaver as Michelle Bradley. They both disagree with Deon’s approach to making robots with consciousness and make his life miserable because of it.
Demonic Sees The Return Of The Innovative Blomkamp
Blomkamp had further attempts to keep 100% within the Sci-Fi realm, including Halo, like the short called Halo: Landfall, & Alien 5 (just look into Alien: Xeno). But with Demonic, Neill seemingly decided to expand his horizons and combine his love of Sci-Fi with Horror. After Carly’s (Carly Pope) mum Angela (Nathalie Boltt) burns down a care home and becomes hospitalized, Carly uses a strange simulation to enter Angela’s mind, to try and find out why. Following the initial session, the simulation keeps pulling Carly back in, and events start to horrifically spiral out of control. Now, as much as I wanted to see Alien 5 and a new Halo movie helmed by Neill (I still do actually!), it was very interesting to see him embrace more of a Horror feel, and going forward I’m looking forward to seeing him hopefully re-visit the genre.
Neill Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo releases in theatres on August 25, 2023.
What is your favourite entry in the Neill Blomkamp filmography? Let us know in the comments below.