Elysium is a Strong Movie with a Real Feel
By Sean Molloy
If there was any doubt that the Sci-Fi genre has a new master in Neill Blomkamp, it’s now just laser fodder. Now, I’m not saying that Elysium was better than District 9, which in my opinion is one of the top five best Sci-Fi movies ever made, but the sophomore effort is so strong it almost leaves me foaming at the mouth to see with the director is going to come up with next.
There are two things that I love most about Elysium. One is the fact that the movie feels completely and utterly real. The audience feels the grime of future Los Angeles, the dirt and garbage can almost be a character itself. The contrast between Earth and the ring paradise is so brilliantly played. It’s the tans versus the greens, it’s the overcrowded hospitals versus the med-beds (which can sure any disease and is a major plot point in the movie), the film just pops. The second being how the movie integrates special effects into this world. The droids in the movie move like real people and I had no problem believing that they were right there on set with the actors. The audience has to really focus on things that would be CG to even notice them; spaceships flying around in the background move in a way that feels both natural and futuristic. Shots that take place in outer space feel like they should feel. Silent. IN space there are no sounds, I shouldn’t hear ships explode and it’s these small details that put Elysium in the same sentence as other Sci-Fi classics.
Enough drool. Now like District 9, Elysium tells a larger story. One about immigration, citizenship and the separation of socioeconomic classes. Interwoven with these major issues comes Matt Damon who is poisoned by radiation and needs to get to Elysium in order to cure himself. Also in the story is the love of his life and her daughter who has cancer and also needs a med-bed. To get up there Damon needs to dive back into his old life of crime and steal memory information from a greedy CEO of the company that poisoned Damon. The story is very black and white compared to District 9 but the whole thing works fine but doesn’t leave you thinking about it long after the credits roll. A special mention goes to Sharlto Copley who continues to blow me away in every movie he’s in. The man plays a great villain, creepy when he needs to and appropriately menacing.
The movie has some issues that keeps it from being perfect though. I never bought the Jodie Foster character, she’s not a villain and her accent is so bad, to the point I cringed when she spoke. If you’ve seen the previews you know all about Matt Damon’s super suit contraption. While cool, it really isn’t utilized until the last 10 minutes and by then I didn’t care about it whatsoever.
Elysium had a way of just keeping my eyes focused on the screen throughout. I made sure I didn’t miss one detail of the film. While not up there with the all time greats, this is a Sci-Fi movie that should not be missed.