At this point in mid-June, we’re about halfway through the summer movie season. Tom Cruise and Will Smith have already come and gone, their box office farts noiselessly absorbed into the winds of the blockbuster hurricanes that blew past them. Iron Man 3 and Fast & Furious 6 have blown up a collective $600 million worth of shit in America. Star Trek Into Darkness finally opened its mystery box, revealing the Wrath of Khan DVD and pair of yellowing rubber Vulcan ears squirreled away inside. Superman arrives today to die for Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s sins. So what’s left to look forward to?
With all due respect to Brad Pitt’s writhing pile o’ fast zombies, Channing Tatum’s filthy wife-beater, and the greatest Rock ’em Sock ’em robots the world will ever see, the answer to that question is Matt Damon, balder than Liberace on pompadour-vacuuming day and equipped with the finest exoskeleton the producers of Pimp My Terminally Ill Freedom Fighter could solder to his spine on short notice. And it’s not particularly close. Elysium‘s dropped a three-plus-minute extended trailer that’s ratcheted up the already feverish anticipation level a few notches. Damon seems 30 percent more sarcastic, Jodie Foster twice as icily determined to protect her floating Malibu Colony from the invading rabble that might interrupt the Orbiting 1 Percent’s poolside beverage service. There are no reheated superheroes, no lurching pig piles of the undead. Jamie Foxx is not even president in this reality, though he has formed an exploratory committee to examine the viability of a campaign. We enjoy all of those things, generally, but we’ve seen them before. So now Elysium‘s all we’re going to think about for a while.
But August is a long way away. Maybe we’ll throw on Behind the Candelabra again, close our eyes, and imagine a cyborg Scott Thorson smashing his way through Lee’s wig chamber. Maybe that will tide us over.