Howdy people and welcome to another film review and today, after like 2 WEEKS after the film’s release I’m FINALLY going to be reviewing Elysium. Now this was a film I’d been waiting to see for AGES, besides Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The World’s End and The Wolverine, this was one of my key films to watch this summer. So after being let down by nearly all the films I saw this summer, I thought Elysium would be the one to rectify this and as it stands, its good, but not nearly as good as I’d hoped.
The story in this film goes a little something like this:
“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 Earth. Secretary Rhodes, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds. “
I thought the plot in the film was good for the most part, but I can’t help but feel like it was a bit dull and lacking in originality. While watching the film I was trying to figure out where the film would go in terms of its direction and some of it I could tell from a mile away and some of it was harder to make out. I like the themes of the film involving social class, immigration and heath care, but some of it I feel could have been delved into a little deeper. What I did appreciate was the film’s raw and intense nature, the film doesn’t hide the fact that people on Earth are suffering and dying, everyone gets treated like shit and the laws in place for humans are just terrible with the robot enforcers being very difficult and uncaring about anyone. The social divide between the wealthy and the poor was nicely executed though I wish we got to see more of the snobby rich people, they felt more like window dressing than anything else. Max’s role in this whole thing was good though I wasn’t keen on how generically forced he was put into his situation.
When it comes to the characters they are all pretty much there and I didn’t care for the majority of them besides a special few. Let’s start with Matt Damon as Max Da Costa, he is basically the most important person in this film. He’s central character, I like his back story and personality traits, in this world of poverty, destruction and death he’s pretty level-headed and understands the reality of his situation. It’s only after a series of unfortunate circumstances force him into a situation where he has to become a hero and get to Elysium to change the fate of the world. Damon as always is wonderful to watch onscreen and he has a lovely screen presence and while this isn’t one of my favourite roles he’s done, it is certainly one that should be admired.
Jodie Foster as Jessica Delacourt was good as this very stern, badass Secretary of Defense chick whose job it was to keep all people from Earth off of Elysium and her radical methods make her a force to be dealt with. My only problem with Foster in this role is that her character doesn’t really have any kind of human personality to her, she comes across as very cold and militant, so I didn’t really care for her character. Also what was up with Foster’s accent, I couldn’t tell if she was American or some kind of British or French person, I think it was just due to the way that she pronounced certain words that threw me off.
But let’s talk about the standout performance that comes from Sharlto Copley as Agent C.M. Kruger, Jesus Christ this guy was a beast! I remember seeing Copley in District 9 and seeing how nice, friendly and innocent he was in that film, but he does a serious 180 in this film as he is this filthy mercenary who has series anger management issues and is a bit of a psycho. This man is just the baddest of the bad, heartless, ruthless and has a horrible history with people, in short he’s not someone you should fuck with. Copley plays his role to great effect and had me scared as to what he was gonna do next.
And then there’s the rest of the cast. Alice Braga as Frey Santiago is a decent character, she’s Max’s childhood friend and she serves her purpose in the film though I wasn’t too keen on how much she became part of the main plot. Diego Luna as Julio was another one of my favourite people, this guy is a tech expert and has some great moments with Damon. Wagner Moura as Spider is pretty decent and lastly William Fichtner was cool as John Carlyle, I’ve always had respect for Fichtner since his role in The Dark Knight and in this film while’s not doing anything as hardcore in this film, I thought he character was cool, devious and funny.
As much as it pains me to say this, the one thing about this film that stood out the most was the visuals. The presentation in this film is virtually flawless with some of the sharpest, cleanest and most detailed stuff I have ever seen. Granted a good few films have done that this year (Oblivion and Pacific Rim come to mind), but Elysium puts its CGI to good use as we get very detailed robots, cool exoskeletons, kick ass guns that have varying results depending on which ones are used, an incredible-looking version of space and the space station called Elysium itself looks gorgeous, it has a very simple yet practical design and I love everything about the way it looks.
In conclusion I enjoyed Elysium, it was pretty awesome and it featured some INCREDIBLE visuals, a wonderful central performance from Matt Damon and had a story just about good enough to keep you interested throughout. However I can’t help but feel like this film could have been more, Neill Blomkamp crafted something insanely specially with District 9 and its hard not to look at this film and feel slightly disappointed that it wasn’t of the same or even higher caliber. But in the end I’m glad I watched it and I’d still recommend it to anyone looking for a slightly more involved science fiction film.
Rating: 7.5/10 (Twas a great film but not nearly as amazing as I was expecting)
So what did you lot think of Elysium? Did you like it or were you disappointed? Whatever your thoughts are drop them below in the comments section and I’ll see ya on the next review yo!