Writer-director Neill Blomkamp follows up his strong feature-directing debut, District 9
, with another solid sci-fi effort, a film that delivers terrific action in service of a screenplay that takes a few missteps. Matt Damon stars as Max, a future resident of a nearly uninhabitable planet Earth. As he struggles to get by, rich people live the good life on a huge space station. After an accident leaves him full of radiation, he must get to the space station to use one of its healing chambers. Since the rich don’t allow the poor in their digs, Max winds up getting a super robot skeleton grafted to his body in order to provide some forceful incentive to let him in. The movie is equal parts brilliant and stupid, a visual feast that almost loses it in the end due to a hokey finale. It’s still one of the year’s better blockbusters and proof that Blomkamp is not a one-hit wonder. Jodie Foster is on hand as a narrow-minded government type who wants nothing to do with poor people. Sharlto Copley steals all of his scenes, playing against type as an evil killer agent in the service of Foster’s baddie.