Sunday, August 11, 2013

Elysium- review

The latest sci-fi movie from director Neil Blokamp, Elysium, gives a wild new vision.  While the story itself borrows from other movies like “Johnny Mnemonic” it makes up for the borrowed material with original characters and dazzling effects.  The dystopian future is really intriguing and the overall message of the film seems relevant with the issues of today.

In the year 2154 the Earth is over-populated, polluted and covered with diseased people.  The rich live in an orbiting satellite called Elysium, which has med-pods that allow people to be cured of all diseases and live nearly forever.  Max, played by Matt Damon, works in a robot factory until one day he is stricken with a lethal dose of radiation.  With 5 days to live he has to get Elysium in order to cure himself.  Can Max get to Elysium in time to save himself?

The only problem I had with the movie is that it really has a lot of unoriginal story elements.  Looking past that it’s a pretty solid action sci-fi adventure.  Matt Damon does a really great job selling the part as a reluctant hero.  However, the person that steals the show for me was Sharlto Copley as Kruger.   He has shown a great range in the parts he has played and this is no exception.  He is chilling as a remorseless killer.  Jodie Foster is pretty good as the icy Jessica Delacourt. 

The effects are fantastic and really bring this world to life.  The ships and the robot guards are seamlessly added to the scenes.  The movie message of the rich only being able to afford the health care is nailed pretty hard at times.  However, it is entertaining so you can excuse a lot. Elysium is very interesting at least but does not bring a lot of new ideas to the table. 

If you are a sci-fi fan you should see this movie. However, if you are not then it’s at least worth a rental.  Matt Damon and the other cast members put on a good show and it’s certainly a fun movie.  The visuals and the action also are enough to at least make it a bold choice for the curious.

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