Neill Blomkamp made a pretty big splash in Hollywood with his first movie District 9. District 9 was a science fiction movie that was action-packed, funny, and intelligent. This combination meant that it was well received by general audiences and critics. When he announced his next film, Elysium, was also going to be science fiction, people wondered if he could recreate the same magic that made District 9 so great.
Elysium is set in the near future where the Earth has become incredibly polluted. The rich live on Elysium, a space utopia that orbits the earth, while the poor struggle to survive on the surface below. Max (Matt Damon), a former criminal, dreams of one day joining the privileged few on Elysium. Unfortunately for Max his plans for the future are cut short when he accidentally gets irradiated at the robot manufacturing plant he works at. With only days to live, Max must figure out a way to get to Elysium and save himself.
- Great visuals
- Cool designs for all the tech
- Despite a muddled start, the ending is satisfying
- Kruger, played by Sharlto Copley, is truly evil (most of the time)
- Most of the characters are… functional
- The story is pretty good, but overall seems to be slightly off in places, or badly paced
- Jodie Foster’s character, Delacourt, is reasonable as one of the villains
- Max’s character is too bland, and Matt Damon’s performance doesn’t help
- The first two thirds of the movie are not that engaging
- Kruger occasionally comes across as more cheesy than creepy, making people laugh instead of making them cry in fear
- The social commentary really isn’t anywhere near on par with what Blomkamp delivered in District 9
Movie Rating: A lackluster lead actor, combined with a horribly generic protagonist, doesn’t make for entertaining watching. Unfortunately the story in Elysium also needs some work, and when you combine these two factors the movie almost falls flat on its face. Thankfully a well delivered final act helps salvage what would have otherwise could have been an average science fiction movie at best.