Trailer for Neill Blomkamp's Latest Short 'Lima' Promises Grizzled Sci-Fi Action

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 6:54PM
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 6:54PM
Trailer for Neill Blomkamp's Latest Short 'Lima' Promises Grizzled Sci-Fi Action
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Oats Studios
Neill Blomkamp is at it again. Not content with making an enormous impact on mainstream Hollywood sci-fi with films like District 9 and Elysium, the director has been fighting to take control of the YouTube short film scene as well this year, with movies like Rakka and Zygote bringing familiar movie stars like Sigourney Weaver to small time streaming roles.

And after several months of brief three to four minute videos, Blomkamp's production team, Oats Studios, is back with a trailer for Lima, the latest in this series of snappy mid-budget science fiction that's being given away for free online. Check it out below:

From the first viewing of the trailer, it's hard to be entirely certain what makes this new movie so unique and different. Thus far, Blomkamp has been taking the opportunity to use his short movies, unrestricted by studio pressures as they are, to explore tales that would never get the greenlight in the traditional movie business.

From the trailer, though, Lima almost looks like it's doing the opposite, leaning heavily into classic sci-fi action tropes. There's a grizzled tough guy soldier with some kind of tragic past and a short haircut, stoically suiting up in blocky power armor to attack weaker opponents in dimly lit corridors. Thus far, it looks like this could be any number of modern action movies, if not a video game in the Call of Duty series.

But with Blomkamp, nothing is ever what it seems, so while Lima may look generic from its trailer, this may be because the premise is so integral to the short film's shock factor. Rakka's trailer similarly didn't give an awful lot away, so this might just be how Oats Studios functions, at this point being able to guarantee a certain audience of hardcore fans even without giving everything away in the trailer.

So what can we expect? There will definitely be some power armor, and a tortured soldier with a lover who looks suspiciously like she's doomed to be shoved into a refridgerator at some point.

Perhaps all these tropes are included in the story for a reason. It would definitely be Blomkamp's style to try a deconstruction of the Robocop-style movie genre. What's more, considering that flops like this year's Ghost in the Shell proves that Hollywood still hasn't learned its lessons about the whole stoic-super-soldier-with-a-tragic-past cliche, it'd be great to see someone twist the formula in order to make it more meaningful while simultaneously deflating the pomposity of anyone in any movie studio who's currently considering pitching yet another bland, macho action movie that uses some variation of this character.

At the same time, there's a chance that Blomkamp might be trying a slightly safer movie idea. While the continual funding plan for Oats Studios movies hasn't been set in stone just yet, Blomkamp has spoken about using these short movies as a testing ground for new ideas that could be workshopped into feature length movies if they prove popular enough.

Maybe the director is hoping that Lima will be familiar enough to a widespread audience to draw butts onto seats, while carrying a unique enough twist on the classic story to deliver something meaningful that longtime fans of his work will enjoy.

What's unlikely is that this is just a standard, boring action movie with a beefcake who refuses to show emotions, casually mowing people down while wearing Halo cosplay. If Neill Blomkamp wanted to make that movie, he'd no doubt have mainstream studios banging down his door for the rights in a matter of hours.

Something sneaky is afoot here, and as this is the very last film in Oats Studios' Volume One, it's worth assuming that Neill Blomkamp intends to go out with a bang.
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