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Sunday, August 11, 2013

ELYSIUM REVIEW


About The Movie

Elysium transports us into the year 2154, where Earth has become a Third World ghetto planet where the poor and downtrodden reside, while the wealthy elite have moved off-planet into the pristine and technologically advanced orbital community known as “Elysium.” Enter Max de Costa (Matt Damon), an ex-felon working a dead-end blue collar job. One day, while on said job, Max is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation, leaving with just five days and a lot of desperation to make it to Elysium where a cure awaits.


In order to make his journey, Max is recruited by a local gang, who outfit him with an exoskeleton capable of helping him break into the most secure place in the universe. However, Max’s scheme snowballs into a larger plot, and when Elysium’s Secretary of Defense, Delacourt (Jodie Foster), gets wind of the plan, she activates her secret police force to bring down the perpetrators – a pack of wolves led by the ruthless and cunning Agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley). Before long, Max is in over his head, with Kruger on his tail and a mission that quickly changes focus when an old friend (Alice Braga) asks for Max’s help in saving her dying daughter.

What Is Good/Bad About The Movie:

It’s impossible to watch Elysium and not think about District 9. And I was surprised to find out that they were both directed by the same person. Elysium, like the best examples of sci-fi, has something to say about the status of our current world, but in trying to fully create the metaphor the movie’s reach exceeds its grasp.

Elysium is a beautiful sci fi movie. With the exception of the healing machines, the depicted technology advancements seem completely plausible. The settings are amazingly well done, a lot of the details are very cool (i.e. the parole officer), and the action is great...though there's too much "shaky cam" during the chase and fight sequences.

Despite fantastic visuals, Elysium never drew me into the characters. Though Matt Damon gives a great performance, the setup for his actions of self preservation don't add up to a compelling reason to advance the movie. The plot never made me a believer in what was going on. The integrity of Elysium's story is even more suspect when contemplating the movie in retrospect.

Overall Grade: C+

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