Elyisum is a 2013 sci-fi action thriller starring Matt Damon, which represented the first feature film by director Neill Blomkamp since the 2009 District 9.
Set in a dystopian future, where the Earth has become so polluted that the richest of the planet took to a new home, the gigantic space station – Elysium. With conditions similar to Earth, the citizens of Elysium enjoy luxuries of all kind, including advanced medical treatments not available on Earth. To such an extent that there are now regular attempts by people from Earth to pass the defences of Elysium, if only to seek medical treatment.
Damon plays Max De Costa, a former prisoner and now employee in a manufacturing plant on Earth run by the ruthless John Carlyle (played by William Fichtner). One day De Costa is exposed to a high dosed of radiation and given only days to to live, and in his desperation turns to one of the traffickers running crafts to the space station.
In return De Costa is required to take on a high risk mission which leads him into danger and unraveling that threatens the very way of life on Elysium.
Jodie Foster excels as the nearest thing to a villain in the piece as Secretary Jessica Delacourt, and seeing the film served as a reminder of the shame that she’s taken to staying behind the camera of late, with this actually being her most recent film role.
There is a lot going on in the film and Damon almost seems to bounce through the film from incident to incident with limited time to do much else other than fire weapons and react in these chaotic actions scenes. A number of shots using either ill children, children on doomed spacecraft and more ill children seem to be the means that the film sought to inject any kind of emotion into the movie.
The relevance to today’s situations of inequality and migration are unsubtle and whilst you can see what the film is trying to say, it all just gets lost along the way. The idea is an interesting one though- much like an exaggerated version of elements of Demolition Man where the poor live underground, and the rich above it.
Its disappointing given the presence of Damon and Foster in the key roles, and the good premise of the film. But it loses a sense of character in the film and the action scenes that if offers are far from memorable.
That’s what I thought – what about you? Have you seen it? Comment below and share your thoughts…