Review: Elysium

Like WALL-E, only people got left behind.
 
It's 2154, Earth is nothing but over-crowded slums. The rich can afford to live on a space station called Elysium, where any illness can be healed. Max (Matt Damon) always dreamed of living there with his friend Frey (Alice Barga) ever since they were children. Time has passed, and Frey and Max meet again by chance after he breaks his arms and winds up in her hospital. We learn she has a daughter dying of leukemia. Max gets into an accident at work where he is exposed to intense radiation. He's informed he will die in 5 days. He and his friend (Diego Luna) strike up a deal with a man named Spider (Wagner Maura) to steal some important data from an Elysium citizen visiting Earth. Only Secretary Delacourt (a robotic Jodie Foster) is hell bent on keeping citizens of Earth from illegally entering Elysium. And she puts the dangerous Kruger (Sharlto Copley, bumping Peter Sarsgaard off the creepiest fucker in films this year) on their tail.
 
Writer/director Neill Blomkamp proved years ago with District 9 that he's ready to leave his mark in the sci fi genre, and track record stays clean with his newest feature. Elysium, in a way is what most summer blockbusters strive to be, but are hampered down by compliance with ratings. Elysium comes with a hard R rating, and there's plenty of brutal gore. I do feel like it suffered a little Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen syndrome during some of the action scenes. The camera could barely hold still and the quick changes made it hard to keep the people fighting in frame. Still, it's not enough to make the movie unwatchable.
 
Matt Damon is good as always, and Blomkamp really found a gem in Sharlto Copley. He's an absolute creep who you want to see meet his end. (especially for the amount of times this guys says "boy chick" throughout the film.) I found Jodie Foster to be really robotic, it sort of worked with her character, but I couldn't help but think someone like Kristin Scott-Thomas could've pulled that off better. Ryan Amon's score is very Hans Zimmer-like, and made the film even more enjoyable.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B-
 
Memorable Quote: "Did I cut ya?" - Kruger (Sharlto Copley)

7 comments:

  1. you know, i didn't really care for District 9 like everyone seemed to have. so i am really skeptical about this one.

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    1. It definitely feels different than District 9, but it's one of the better sci fi/action movies I've seen.

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  2. This sounds good! I'd like to see it with my son -- he and I are both fans of District 9. Love your comment about the "creepiest fucker in films this year" list. :-)

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    1. You will understand once you see it. Total creep!

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  3. I'll watch this because of Blomkamp. Absolutely loved District 9 and he did that with a small budget. Now he has a huge one. Plus Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and Sharlto Copley really makes this super-attractive! However you mentioned the Transformers syndrome.... that worries me a little... sometimes a big budget isn't a good thing!

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    1. The budget is definitely a good thing here, it's just the way they were shooting some of the action scenes that reminded me of Transformers. Too quick and hard to focus.

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  4. It does sound like a fascinating film but then I wouldn't expect anything less from Blomkamp. I'll be checking this out as soon as I get the chance as I loved District 9.

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