109 Min | Action – Drama | August 2013
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Elysium Review: Elysium is the follow up, much anticipated by many, to the critically acclaimed District nine from South African-Canadian director and writer Neill Blomkamp. In the middle of the 21st Century, with the world now grossly over-populated and law and order seemingly at breaking point, the super wealthy have decamped to a satellite space station highly visible from earth, a utopian society free of poverty, illness and other such mundane woes. Meanwhile, the vast majority of earth’s population lives in squalid, cramped slums seemingly based on the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Needless to say, the rich are all too keen to protect their enclave and any unauthorised vessels arriving from earth are duly dispatched by being blasted away.
Jodie Foster stars as Elysium’s ambitious and sociopathic Defence Secretary, as ruthless at advancing her own interests as she is at ensuring the purity of the over-sized Ferris wheel whose security is in her charge, Matt Damon is the working class drone desperately trying to access the other world for the treatment to cure his radiation sickness from which he will die in five days. There was clearly an interesting concept waiting to burst out here, an opportunity to explore themes of wealth, inequality, social status, health care and immigration, but sadly it failed on almost every level to build interest or have anything relevant to say.
The script and dialogue of Elysium were banal, as was Jodie Foster’s delivery. Matt Damon worked harder to bring some interest to his character but he was up against it – but at least he tried. The CGI was good – but that’s pretty much a given in any well-funded Hollywood film these days. Close up camera work was appalling, non-stop wobble vision which made action sequences confusing. This camera style is so unnecessary and it really is beyond comprehension as to why film-makers persist in its use, in small doses it can be effective but when near constant it produces a feeling of nausea.