Posted on 8/07/13 11:58 PM
Director Neill Blomkamp's last film, "District 9" was a lot of fun, it was different, intelligent and exciting. "Elysium" is populist trash that's neither fun nor intelligent. It provides the viewer with no enjoyment at any level. The people of Mexico, er, I mean Earth, are trying to get into California, oops I mean Elysium, in order to take advantage of their excellent health care system (that part needs no addendum). Of course the wealthy californians don't want the dirty eartheans coming aboard their clean space ship and taking advandage of their miracle space machines because... well, because they're dicks, of course, as all rich people are. Matt Damon is living in some dirty village, working at the robot plant, wearing a house arrest bracelet as he is on parole for being a car thief. His is the section of the robot plant where they bathe the robot bodies in radiation. One day, a crate gets stuck in the door of the radiation booth, and his boss makes him go in there to move it "or else". As he does, he gets caught in the booth and receives a lethal dose of radiation that gives him only 5 days to live. His only chance of survival is getting to Elysium and taking advantage of their excellent health care system. From here the plot just starts getting more and more convoluted, with Damon being wired into some sort of super-powered exoskeleton that makes him as strong as a robot and escaping evil bounty hunters with all the data of Elysium programmed into his brain.
I recognize which group of murderers and thieves I'm supposed to root for here, but I'll be damned if I can muster much enthusiasm to root for them. Even the preferred method of disposing of characters (blowing them up) fails to generate much excitement in a film that is tedious to sit through. Even Sharlto Copley, doing his best poor man's Daniel Day Lewis imitation, can't give the movie much personality. Elysim represents the lower section of science fiction film, and has the low brow appeal to match.