Ever since watching Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 I couldn’t wait to see what he would be doing next as he was able to tell an amazing story in a sci fi setting. With Elysium, starring Matt Damon, he retuns to sci fi. Will he be able to tell an exciting story again?
Set in a future where the world has become so bad that the richest don’t want to live there anymore, a huge structure was built which orbits the earth, called Elysium. It’s a beautiful place where diseases are a thing of the past. The people on earth dream of going there to cure their diseases. Some even try to get there with spacsehips, but like the borders of Europe or the US, they are heavily protected and reachinn Elysium is close to impossible. Matt Damon’s character, Max, was raised on earth by nuns but as he grew up started making wrong decisions. He ended up in jail and now is working at a big company which creates robots. He becomes part of a big event though which could make it possible to realize one of his biggest dreams.
Although I still prefer watching District 9 over Elysium, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a good film, as it is. There isn’t a moment which felt contrived or unrealistic and there was a lot to love. I really liked the way famous brands were used in other ways, which made the product placement enjoyable. I had never seen a Bugatti spaceship before for example. Jodie Foster’s character was an interesting one, but with a little more time spent with her, her character could have had more depth. Sharlto Copley was my favorite though as he breathes so much life and humour into his role as a rogue assasin, really a joy to watch. Matt Damon also gives a solid performance as you would expect from him. Visually the world is exciting, both on earth and on Elysium. When Damon’s character went to his parole officer I got a bit of a Total Recall/Robocop vibe of that. It looks like something which could be real but it is not taken completely seriously and joked about. After the solid Europa Report Elysium is another solid sci fi movie this year and since there aren’t too many made each year it is something to be appreciated.