- Starring: Matt Damon (Bourne Identity), Sharlto Copley (District 9), Jodie Foster (Inside Man) and more.
- Directed by: Neill Blomkamp (District 9)
- Synopsis: “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.”
- Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Director Neill Blomkamp presents Elysium and, while it is not related to his previous film District 9, plenty of similarities and comparisons are undoubtedly to be made in reviews across the web.
This review will contain no such comparisons.
Elysium, a film that stands on its own, had little to offer me in terms of interest and excitement when the first images and clips began to release. Pictures of a gun-toting Matt Damon with a jungle gym attached to his torso and head were interesting at best and looked less than promising.
While watching I took notes (as usual) and decided to share some cliffnotes of them here for you. For your reading pleasure (or punishment) here are my random thoughts that by themselves may serve no meaning, but together give you an insight as to what struck me as noteworthy while watching. Enjoy my randomness:
- Vast and wide panning shots that are beautiful. Amazing and immersive. Nice job camera crew.
- Brilliantly shows the stark contrast between the two worlds and explains the setup nicely
- Earth: full of disease, depravity and dreams
- Picture of mankind’s future is never completely Utopian
- Ooh, nice contrast usage: Shaky cam on Earth, Steady cam on Elysium
- Still the Rich get richer and the Poor get poorer…is Max the future Robin Hood?
- Jodie Foster looks amazing at her age. Look at those calves!
- Oh and I hate her…but I love her. Good casting choice.
- Irony: Max builds the very robots he hates.
- Hmm, the robots outwardly portray the coldness that exists inside the residents of Elysium toward the “inferior inhabitants” of Earth.
- Contrast the worlds in so many ways. Much like the movie Upside Down
- It is important to make futuristic films as real and believable as possible. And in Elysium one feels and relates to so much as the film quickly ties you into each of the characters and believing each of their stories.
- Futuristic technology consistent with expectations including weaponry that is impressive and introduced with surprising results throughout the entire film.
- Again, you respect Jodie Foster as much as you hate her.
- Indications of status abound all over as it is the all-important currency of the future…in both worlds.
- Tends to keep interest the entire time, even with moments of “Really??…Really??”
- Full of underlying social commentary from the playhouse of politics even a substitute for Obamacare is presented. haha,
- Could have run longer as the final act seems rushed for time’s sake. Why did they do this?
- Definitely questionable moments making me stretch my belief in the laws/rules set by the film
- Shocking and surprising moments of violence and twists
- Sharlto Coplay in one of the best roles I’ve seen him in being so different I didn’t recognize him for a bit. Could’ve used more of him I think.
- Predictable ending? perhaps…the journey…not so much. Impressive nonetheless.
Ultimately, Elysium was better than expected. Keeping the interest and excitement all the way through and tying pieces of the entire film together through the lens of the central character’s journey. I thought it to be quite excellent, though a bit over-ambitious at times and bit skimpy on the character development overall.
But, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s what a few other movie-reviewing friends of mine had to say:
Thoughts from Bloggers Around the Block:
Ruth @ Flixchatter.net: It could’ve been a more in depth and compelling film though, alas the the typical Hollywood happy ending keeps this from being a notch above a cool Summer sci-fi escapism.
Dan @ dtmmr.com: Despite featuring most of the same ideas and points Blomkamp studied, and did a lot better with, in his first flick, Elysium still grabs ahold of you with it’s compelling, emotional story, continues to work it’s tension up, until it’s about to practically explode and take you down with it. That’s a good thing, by the way.
Dan @ Fogsmoviereviews.com: Blomkamp bears much of the burden. “Elysium” is a little too in love with itself… it’s burdened with lots of slo mo, flashbacks, and “epic” scoring. At times, it comes across as cool, especially early, but by the end it wore on me and eventually felt ponderous.
Tajuana @ Tajgreenemoviesinreview: This is a good one. You won’t find yourself bored, and will easily find yourself vested in the characters still left on earth. Go see it…A-
Issy @ Projectedthoughts.com: You won’t leave Elysium thinking about its underlying theme as you do in District 9, but the beautiful visuals and the action will satisfy and entertain Sci-Fi fans. Blomkamp might have taken a minor step back but still showcases that his is one of the best young talents in Hollywood.
RorschachReviews.com: “An incredibly exciting second and third act that evade most major plot cliches. [although] An obnoxiously black-and-white view of the class conflict it centers around.”
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer