SYNOPSIS: In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined planet. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the crime and poverty that is now rampant throughout the land. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max (Matt Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission – one that pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her hard-line forces – but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.
REVIEW: The name Elysium is rather fitting for this Sci-fi flick and according to www.wikipedia.org, Elysian Fields was the name given to the afterlife or heaven by some Ancient Greek religious sects and cults. This articulates quite a bit about the basis in which we see this movie. It is futuristic and gritty, somewhat sad, but hopeful flick and at the same time very interesting in terms of the cinematography and graphical expressions. The whole movie is essentially a morphed version of Writer/Director Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 (2009) and Tom Cruise’s latest release, Oblivion. This is completed with an outlandish story, predictable archetypes, and enough exposition to string together a series of fights between our hero, in this case, and the‘soul-less’ robots in heavily populated residential areas that bear a striking resemblance to Brazil’s Favelas (or in this case, more like a futuristic version of Mexico City). Personally I’ve never been anti-”District 9,” and I always thought that it was awesome that a major motion picture was born outside of the Hollywood institution… in this case, the South African Film Industry.
Matt Damon, in my humble opinion does a mediocre job with his character as the main protagonist which may or may not be a welcomed change of pace for him. That being said, Damon is very versatile and he particularly excels at playing the ‘every-man’ characters put into difficult situations. Unfortunately I don’t think he was the right choice for the character here and despite his well-known and acclaimed talent; he just didn’t do justice to the role. Nevertheless, his short comings did have some redemption because Elysium also has a nice supporting cast including the magnificent Jodie Foster (one can never go wrong with seeing a Jodie Foster movie), Diego Luna (Contraband, 2012) and William Fichtner (The Lone Ranger, 2013) who seems to turn up in a lot of movies as a rent-a-villain these days. Lol Sharlto Copley, on-the-other-hand, is a South African producer, actor, and director whom has produced and co-directed short films which have appeared at the Cannes Film Festival, according to Wikipedia; However, he certainly took away from this film as an actor and especially as the superior villain. His vocals throughout the entire film were incomprehensible, at best, and I struggled the entire time to understand anything he had to say, including the usual “villain-oneliners.” His vocals were actually worst than the super-villain “Bane,” in the latest Batman flick (which I didn’t think was possible for an English speaking movie).
Overall, I did enjoy this latest Matt Damon movie, despite the few short-comings. It encapsulated good sci-fi-style action, with lots of cool futuristic technology on display and a constant plot development that kept things from getting completely boring. I think Jodi Foster carried the entire movie with her character and made for an extremely interesting fem-fatal villain. Elysium, certainly deserve four out of five stars for action and adventure.
By Movi-Man Stan
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