Sunday, August 11, 2013


Movie Name: Elysium
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Brandon Auret, Josh Blacker, Emma Tremblay, Faran Tahir
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Neill Blomkamp's second feature after the success of his debut "District 9", is another futuristic story. The film introduces us to a future where Earth is overpopulated and where the rich have left the planet and created an orbiting station named "Elysium", where there's no sickness and where few people are in fact allowed in. This "privileged moon" is overrun by Delacourt, a ruthless leader who wants to instate her iron will and control the destiny of Elysium and to a certain extent, Earth. A young man named Max challenges her plans - Max grew up wanting to go to Elysium, but after a life of petty crime is stuck working in a plant. After an accident occurs, Max is given 5 days to live, which propels him to find help to get to Elysium. He gets the help he needs, but also gets a new chaser in the shape of Kruger, a psychotic henchman under the orders of Delacourt.
Neill Blomkamp knows how to create realities that though apparently remote, reflect a lot of the current concerns of society. "Elysium" tackles a lot of current issues related to healthcare, immigration and class struggle. The film is pertinent in it's depiction of a world that is more universal: language itself has altered to reflect the multiple ethnic groups that populate it, the scenery itself is a mix of "District 9" but also Pete Travis' "Dredd" - bleak and chaotic. And of course, the film is extremely successful in it's visual style, special effects and action set pieces. The cast is uniformly good, with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster creating good characters, even if a bit unidimensional, but nonetheless serving the film's narrative perfectly. A very good film worth watching.