Elysium - 'the place at the ends of the earth to which certain favoured heroes were conveyed by the gods after death. A place or state of perfect happiness' and Elysium is just that, well if you are one of the privileged ones to get a ticket up to this flawless habitat. On this world, there is no poverty, there is no illness and there is no tolerance for letting anyone else in. In the year 2154 this all changes, when Max (Matt Damon) takes on a life risking job that will not only save his life but ultimately save the thousands of people who have been ignored on this post apocalyptic earth.
So let's get one thing straight, this is an action film, no doubt about it. Try to not read too much into it. Yes, this is a fairly politically heavy film, just as District 9 was but I think the entire point of this narrative was to entertain and not give the viewer some deep and meaningful thought process on the way out of the theatre. For me, it was entertaining, the effects were astounding and the camera - well the camera. Just a tad shaky at times which kind of ruined some of the action scenes but I think I can see what the director was trying to achieve when he made those choices (just a shame they made you feel like you were on a roller-coaster). Matt Damon's character becomes quite the hero (bad language and all) when he manages to get the codes to override the whole system of Elysium, letting anyone through the gates. Of course we have the return of Sharlto Copley who worked with Neill Blomkamp previously who plays a deadly sleeper agent called Kruger who certainly brings class acting and comedy to this screenplay. Although everyone on Elysium should be delirious to be living on this utopia, they all seem a little bit uptight - especially Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and John Carlyle (William Fichtner), nevertheless both give performances full of anger and deceit and both get what they deserve. Despite a fairly decent storyline the only thing that didn't work for me was the character development. Even though we are given a bit of back story for the main characters I still felt like they needed a bit of work to really make you empathise with them when they have to go their separate ways.
Overall, sci-fi fans and SFX geeks will not be disappointment, there are fantastic space shuttles, robots and reforming body parts reminiscence of any of Ridley Scott or James Cameron's work. With scenes very similar to Battlestar Galactica and even Star Wars, go and see this film to immerse yourself in this alternate universe.
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
109mins, 15 (2013)
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