Elysium (2013)

elysium_2013_poster
Elysium (2013)
  • Time: 109 min
  • Genre: Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Neill Blomkamp
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Michael Shanks

Storyline:
In the year 2159, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that, if successful, will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

3 reviews

  • I must say that I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, even though many comments on the internet said it is not so worth watching. I’m still wondering what people disliked so much about the movie because I really liked it and wasn’t disappointed at all. My expectations were fulfilled and I enjoyed every moment of “Elysium”. The movie kept me on edge of my seat since its beginning to the end, it made me hold my breath few times while watching it and I can’t remember a moment when I was bored. Though ‘Elysium’ has a lot of action scenes it is still very much a science fiction film. In my opinion, the whole crew made an excellent movie that is definitely worth watching. Matt Damon was excellent as always, but the performance that really stole the show was Sharlto Copely as Agent Kruger. Also, the end of this movie was very good! I highly recommend this.

  • Yesterday, after we wrote about Ben Affleck being cast as the new Batman, we saw his best friend Matt Damon’s newest movie – Elysium. I had great expectations, and I was curious to see this movie since it was directed and written by District 9′s director and writer Neill Blomkamp. Elysium reminds very much of that awesome movie and it has an interesting story and a good cast, so I think it was natural to suppose, and hope, that Elysium would have been District 9′s worthy successor. Unfortunately, this movie was a pretty big disappointment – and even if you decide to ignore the existance of District 9 and don’t compare the two, it remains a bad movie. Also, I would have loved to see Ninja of Die Antwoord play the main role, but he turned the director’s offer down.

    Matt Damon plays Max, a young man living on Earth in the year 2154: our planet is polluted, unsafe, filled with criminals and poor people who hope to one day get to Elysium, a man-made space station where all the wealthy people of Earth have moved and where they can live forever thanks to special medical machines. The rich would do anything to stop the poor from getting to Elysium, and the poor just want to get there in order to be cured. After Max is injured at work and has only five days left to live, he joins a group of criminals who attach an exoskeleton to his body and send him on a mission to steal some data from a rich person, and afterwards go to Elysium.

    First of all, the movie looks great. But let’s not emphasise this: it’s supposed to look impressive and have great visual effects, it’s a sci-fi with a $115 million budget! Also, while there are some good scenes that manage to keep you interested, others look like a video game. Then we have the story. As I said, it’s interesting, mainly because you have so much possibilities and you can exploit it in so many ways: you can show the sociological aspect of the situation presented in the movie, you can analyse the characters psychologically, or describe the class wars between the rich and the poor so we can understand how things happened before the rich went to Elysium and we can sympathise with the poor. The director did nothing of this. Instead, he just showed us – this is Earth and it’s ugly and it’s really sad, this is Elysium and it’s nice but the people are evil. It’s a pity, since Blomkamp wanted the movie to send a powerful message and to be a metaphor for today’s society. Yes, we get the metaphor, but it’s faintly delivered and it makes Elysium look like just another silly Hollywood sci-fi trying to be all smart and stuff (Oblivion much?).

    Regarding the acting, Matt Damon and Jodie Foster were good, but their characters were too undeveloped. Especially Foster’s role as the movie’s antagonist, the Minister of Homeland Security Delacourt, should have gotten more attention, if not more screen time. Blomkamp could have just taken the hint from Foster’s last name. Matt Damon, on the other hand, is constantly present, in almost every scene of the movie, so he manages to be a bit more developed. But there’s his childhood friend Frey, decently played by Alice Braga, whom we should believe he loves and cares for, even though they haven’t seen each other in years, and she has a child with another man (that we never meet). Their zero-chemistry relationship is just taken for granted in the script, and consequently, we can’t care. Perhaps the worst characteristic of this movie is that’s it’s so damn long, it gets so boring and still manages to leave some things unexplained. I guess we can just hope Blomkamp will create something better the next time.

    Rating: 6/10

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  • Android : What is in the bag?
    Max: Hair care products, mostly.

    Lately we are getting quite spoiled in the SF area. Elysium is a pessimistic view of the future with an overpopulated earth with the known problems. Elysium is an artificial oasis of tranquility where only billionaires can buy a place to live. Each home is equipped with a “cure-bed” so that all the inhabitants can enjoy a healthy and disease-free life. The less fortunate stayed on Earth and try to survive in an unhealthy poor environment under strict supervision of droids.

    You can obviously sense the paternalistic social message of the widening gap between rich and poor. It’s illegal to try to reach Elysium. It makes you think of the border between Mexico and the U.S. which at this very moment people still try to cross so they can exchange the poverty with a more blessed future. Furthermore, I see it as a reflection of the healthcare as it is known now in the U.S. Those who can afford it, get the best treatment.

    I’ve never seen the movie “District 9” (but now it’s surely on my list), and have no idea whether “Elysium” looks identical. I must admit that the CGI is spectacular. The design of the residential areas on the Earth, the immense factory where droids are assembled, the droids themselves look flashy and sexy, the vehicles used (especially the scene with Carlyle’s transport) are magnificent, Elysium itself is staggeringly brilliantly imaged and the robotic armor that Max gets is stunningly realistic. The visuals are actually almost as stunning as in “Oblivion”. The action clips are sensational filmed and the used weaponry fits perfectly with the rest of the entire movie. The movie has a damn high rate and makes you sit on the edge of your seat.

    The content of the movie and the story are so cliched and told in similar movies (but you can always come up with that argument). The overpopulated world reminded me of that one in “Dredd”. And the separation between rich and poor was also shown in “Upside Down”.
    The characters are a list of stereotypes: an ex-prisoner back on a straight path and who became a decent citizen earning his daily bread by doing a shitty job. Of course he will be the hero of the story. For me it’s also a sort of love story with the obligatory little nurse and a gang of ruthless criminals who’ll chase him until they drop dead.

    There were also some things that were absolutely ridiculous. There’s radioactivity in the plant and everyone works without protective clothing? Ok, they were all people who are negligible and can be replaced by others. But where is the radioactivity when the droids are assembled? Spider could have already used that instrument that he put on Max and used one of his henchmen to form a super-killing machine ! Arriving on Elysium is illegal and not so simple since all is terribly guarded, but when everything comes online again, Spider can land there quite easily. Kruger’s head is almost completely blown off by a grenade, but his brains are still functioning so he can be fully restored. Okay, it’s called SF but that was a bit over the top. Especially when afterwards Delacourt dies of an innocent stabbing wound in the neck. Well, must have been a retaliation for her bad acting performance.

    Yes lets talk about the acting now. Matt Damon did it again on autopilot and it was a joy to see him again in an action-packed role like “Bourne”. The “worst acting performance ever”-nomination goes to Foster. I sometimes had the impression that she was a droid. Inspiration-free conversations, a ridiculous accent and she made no impression as the cruel and unfeeling Secretary of Defense. For me, Kruger was the most colorful person in this movie. Surprisingly he sang a Dutch sounding song at a given time. After a bit of reading on the net, i found out it was South African. In any case, it was a perfect portrayal of a deranged and canny mercenary who is used to do the dirty jobs. The young nurse and her daughter suffering from leukemia unfortunately only were used for the corny part. Luckily they didn’t go to far in using a possible love story between her and Max. To me they were just childhood friends who have grown apart.

    Conclusion: A first-rate SF with extremely titillating images with a social message and mixed with a touching theme that calls for a happy ending. The only sad thing is that Max dies … He’s probably spending his time now at the Elysian fields among all the other blessed.

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