Review: Elysium

Review 2013 by RD Clark

Title

Elysium

Written by: Neill Blomkamp

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

Starring: Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna

Rated R
Running time: 109 mins

“Activate the Kruger!”

In a bleak future, where poverty is the norm, a few privileged folks have built a ginormous ring of a planetoid, where they live comfortably long lives, complete with instant healing from their magic machines. On Earth, there are attempts to invade the station paradise, mostly by folks who are desperate for cures for themselves or their families.

I have mixed feelings about this movie. On the one hand, there are beautiful sets, monstrous scenery and some glorious action, although the last is often almost ruined with shaky-cam action. The acting is very good, except when a couple of the leads decide to go waaaay over the top. There are metaphors a-plenty,(immigration, the Rich & Greedy, Health Care options) but I didn’t think they held up well.

And a couple of major plot issues:

If the inhabitants of the station are so alarmed by the intrusions from Earth, and there is such a simple solution, why not do that from the start? I also don’t buy that the Earth could not produce some form of that technology; they seemed to be up to snuff on most of the other gadgets, if maybe a little on the grungy side.

Also, from a science point: That station was HUGE and appeared to be very close to Earth (in some shots). Later on it seemed to be way out there. I would think gravity would tear it apart. And that exoskeleton they grafted on to Damon’s character did not seem designed to protect him from the punishment he had to occasionally take.

Lastly, Kruger’s crew suddenly turned into wimps at the most convenient time, and like most movie villains, cannot shoot straight to save their lives — literally!

In spite of my misgivings, I’ll give this a mild recommendation. Just enjoy it and don’t think too hard about what’s going on and you should be fine. Young kids might be grossed out and the language is harsh. No post credit scenes.

Flytrap rating: 6/10

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