Review – Eylsium

Posted: May 20, 2015 in Film, Sci-Fi
Tags: , , , , ,


Following in the vain of my movie catch-up I got to watch another fantastic sci-fi film (albeit in three sittings). Directed by the talented Neill Blomkamp and featuring his signature style of design, Elysium takes on a fairly big moral dilemma by focusing the drama around a small cast of brilliant characters.

Max, played by Matt Damon, is a former gangster and criminal trying to make his way on an Earth ravaged by pollution, poverty and disease. Forced to try to fix a malfunction on the factory line where he works, he is blasted by deadly radiation. His only hope for survival is a trip to the habitat Elysium where the rich live in absolute utopia. However, getting there is nigh on impossible…unless done illegally.

And this is the crux of the movie. Max and his childhood friend, Frey (Alice Braga) were both orphans together, growing up in a destitute Las Angeles and dreaming of a life in the heavenly habitat in the stars. But, with Max on deaths door and Frey’s daughter dying of leukemia both have a desperate desire to reach Elysium and be cured.

What the film speaks to is that divide between the haves and have-nots; the growing gap between rich and poor; the political paranoia of borders and the disparity of culture between the entitled and the the heaving masses.
Something Blomkamp has undoubtedly seen in South Africa – a place where a wonderful life can be had in the most beautiful country or where abject poverty can drive a person to crime, begging and desperation.

That said, Blomkamp does an amazing job by couching all those ideas in a thrilling and entertaining story. Matt Damon is at his best playing a desperate and dangerous anti-hero against the foil of Kruger, the ultimate near-future psychotic. Sharlto Copley is a ridiculously good actor portraying this most vile mercenary whilst Jodie Foster turns in a great performance as the uber Right Wing protector of Elysium’s borders, hell bent on keeping out the illegals and taking political control of the habitat.

All this and more is delivered as the conceptual design of Elysium and it’s technology immerses the viewer in a strange utopian/distopian future. The habitat itself is a marvel whilst the contrast between the sleek robots and the dirt smeared people of Earth only adds to the atmosphere of the movie.

Elysium has the potential of all those great films to be watched again and again. Blomkamp’s direction is engaging, and his vision and concepts are truly original. I can’t wait to see Chappie as well as his take on the Alien franchise… Hopefully just not years after their release dates.

  1. Definitely up for watching this!

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