While we enjoyed Elysium by shutting our brains off for a bit, it wasn't a movie without a lot of problems — and that's something that even Neill Blomkamp agrees with, according to an interview with Uproxx.
Although Elysium received a decent critical reception and made more money than Blomkamp's previous smash success District 9, it's long had a reputation as a misfire, a sophomore slump after Blomkamp blew people away with his first feature film. Blomkamp agrees with the assessment, sitting down with Uproxx while discussing CHAPPiE and bluntly saying that he "fucked it up" when it came to the story:
I feel like, ultimately, the story is not the right story. I still think the satirical idea of a ring, filled with rich people, hovering above the impoverished Earth, is an awesome idea. I love it so much, I almost want to go back and do it correctly. But I just think the script wasn't… I just didn't make a good enough film is ultimately what it is. I feel like I executed all of the stuff that could be executed, like costume and set design and special effects very well. But, ultimately, it was all resting on a somewhat not totally formed skeletal system, so the script just wasn't there; the story wasn't fully there.
Blomkamp goes on to expound his reasons for being disappointed with Elysium — a combination of feeling pressure after the success of District 9 and his own admittance that he tends to fall in love with concepts and ideas, rather than fully fleshed out stories — as well as acknowledge that owning his failures helps him as a director:
That's what leads to good artists though – like, the audience owes you nothing. The audience will tear you apart if you don't provide a product.
It's rare to see a director be so candid with the flaws of his own work, at least in the format of an interview with the press, but nonetheless still interesting to see. We'll have to see if Blomkamp's learned from some of his mistakes with the release of CHAPPiE, especially with him taking over the reigns of the next Alien movie.