Posted on 8/22/13 01:54 PM
"I promise you, one day I'll take you to Elysium."
There have been quite a few Sci-Fi films to choose from this year so far, We've had underwhelming 'Oblivion' and the poor 'After Earth' and later there's 'Enders Game', 'Riddick' and 'Gravity' not a lot for most genres it's for Sci-Fi. So despite an unusual strong year for Sci-Fi in numbers there haven't been any that i could consider great or even good. But 'Elysium' is here to rectify that.
The follow up to the hugely successful and loved 'District 9', 'Elysium' is another foray by director 'Neil Blomkamp' into Sci-Fi. This time it's a story of wealth and the poor. Set on earth where after overpopulation and devastation of the planet the wealthy evacuate earth and live on the space station 'Elysium' - where life is eternal and disease is a thing of the past. 'Max Da Cost' ('Matt Damon') wants to make it to the space station with the hopes by taking information off a visiting 'Elysium' executive. But 'Secretary Delacourt' ('Jodie Foster') has other plans deploying the vicious 'Kruger' ('Sharlto Choply') and his crew after 'Max'. It's a story of what a single man can do as well as the segregation of the poor and the rich. There are some cliched moment in regards to story with the inclusion of a love interest and it works relatively well but it could be thrown away. It only seems to included to give some danger and a to show 'Max' cares about someone. The real story lives in the callous nature the rich ignore the poor, and those who don't 'Delacourt' pay attention by killing them. Earth and 'Elysium' are a complete odds where on the space station nothing out of reach and danger is none existent (one scene in particularly showcasing how close to the edge a persons life can be and still come back) - earth however, is a fight for survival with very little food or prospect of work. There are moments where the story takes a back seat but i didn't care it may have been a one track - 'Max' want to go to 'Elysium' story but its played out well the action isn't there for the sake of it, it's always informed by something be it 'Kruger' or a kidnap.
Like 'District 9' visually it's beautifully muted browns and grey that while could be considered dull in other hands with 'Blomkamp' it is anything but. Then there's the injection of bright blues, clean whites and the pure green of the grass and trees on 'Elysium' - again more of the gap between the rich and poor. It's got a lot of CGI but there can't be any complaints here. You just wouldn't be able to get the shots he gets without the use of CGI - the sweeping landscapes and magnificent views from space. And of course it looks nigh on perfect, given how well the CGI in 'District 9' was produced it was always going to be the same again. But naturally to a greater level its not here for flash or for huge explosion its there to coincide with the story.
'Blomkamp' uses his favourite 'Choply' here as the main villain and he has a very deranged personality a far cry from his hero role in 'District 9'. Matt Damon' does a good job as well as the hero of the piece even if it is a bit odd that he's Mexican. 'Jodie Foster' successfully creates a character i truly hate, her characters one sided nature and quest for power made me dislike her even more than 'Kruger' - which is quite frankly a huge feat. And i'm not sure that was intended and it speaks volumes for 'Foster's performance, she's up against a murderous rapist and like him more. That's one of the slight problems i have because it creates such an odd situation and something that shouldn't be. There isn't anyone i could say was stand-out because everyone does such a stellar job with their characters personality - 'Kruger' a murderous killer, 'Max' someone who wasn't going to let anyone get in their way and 'Delacourt' a power hungry executive. The supporting players fit in well and unlike 'Damon' look Mexican and more than like are, either that or Spanish.
I may not have liked it as much as 'District 9' but 'Blomkamp' has successfully delivered another interesting 'Sci-Fi' film. With a clear message of the divide between the rich and the poor. Visually impressive and an excellent cast and performances, 'Elysium' delivers more or less what i expected even with the occasional hiccup with the story pacing and an odd situation in the villain department it's another great Sci-Fi to add to the criminally low list the genre has.