Every summer we get the classic summer blockbusters. Sequels, bestselling books made into movies, and re-makes are consistently what we see during the summer. Hollywood thinks these movies will generate the most money; however, with Elysium, Hollywood gives us a breath of fresh air (in a sense).
I personally have been waiting for Elysium because of South African director Neill Blomkamp. For you die hard movie fans, you will remember that Neill directed and wrote the brilliant, Oscar nominated 2009 sci-fi flick District 9.
Unlike Neill’s first movie, Elysium brings in heavy-hitters like Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, who bring enjoyable performances to the screen.
Set in the year 2154, in a futuristic, over-populated and essentially ruined Earth (think “Wall-E” with humans), the wealthy have fled to a utopian space colony called Elysium, leaving the poor on earth to be wrecked by disease, pollution, and everything else you can imagine.
The wealthy enjoy living peacefully, with zero pollution, and being disease free by using these spacepod-esque machines to get rid of any ailment they may suffer from.
Matt Damon plays Max, an ex-offender, living on Earth who is essentially just another guy trying to get by working in a robot-police making factory.
Max is then exposed to a lethal dose of radiation while working at this factory, given some painkillers, told he has five days left to live, and basically told to go home and die.
Of course, the billionaire owner of this securities factory does nothing about it, another common theme among the movie of the ultra-rich distancing themselves of any and all liabilities when it comes to the people on Earth.
Then you have Jodie Foster, playing terrifying Defense-Security Delacourt, who is ruthless beyond comprehension. In one scene, she blows up two shuttles of illegals from Earth trying to get into Elysium without thinking twice.
One makes it to Elysium, but Delacourt orders them deported back to Earth, which brazenly introduces another under-handed theme of illegal immigration, of which we are all too familiar.
Of course, what option does Max have but to leave Earth and travel to Elysium to cure himself of the radiation, which can only be done in those space-pod machines, but there is always a cost?
Max has to steal information from the same billionaire whose factory he works for in order to get a ticket and a fake ID into Elysium. So Max has no choice but to do it, and that is when the movie gets exciting.
All-in-all Elysium stood apart from most of the movies that were introduced this summer. It is a smart sci-fi flick that honestly makes you think after you have left the theatre.
It is slow in some parts, like where it introduces a potential love story with a woman Max knew from his childhood days, but it makes up for it with Neill’s amazing cinematography, its hidden subject matter, Sharlto Copley’s villainous character Kruger and Delacourt who are the causes of great action-packed, heart-racing sequences throughout the movie.
I easily give Elysium 3.5 out of 4 stars.
– Ruhi Randhawa, Arts & Entertainment Editor