While book adaptations, and franchise movies are quickly becoming one of the things I hate in life, I was hugely surprised that, aside from one or two bits that took me out of the story, I mostly enjoyed the confident pace and lower-key sensibility of this rebel war film. The terrific cast certainly helps.
A brilliant audio/visual landscape made for a promising cinema experience, but the wow factor became more and more undermined by fatty dialogue scenes, spiraling exposition, and shaky acting performances. By the end of the over long run-time, I had unfortunately been worn down to slightly underwhelmed.
As it goes, this ought to have been a brilliant story about a genuinely exciting rivalry. Unfortunately it kinda has a one dimensional slickness visually and is often told in an oh so dumbed down manner. Some of the telling and the voice-over spewing up all the subtext and exposition just in case we missed it.
Shaky noir that started the career of Alan Ladd. Ladd's definitely the bright spot here, and while the story spends way too much time faffing around for a convenient way to put Ladd and Lake in a darkened room together, it does pick up significantly after it gets them there.
Beautiful production design, but hugely disappointing in most other areas. The character drama is neglected in favour of action and because so much plot is crammed into an insufficient runtime, the film resorts to painfully convenient elements in the story progression. Blomkamp certainly isn't an actors director, and while this film will Inevitably be compared to District 9, in terms of genuine quality and overall vision Elysium falls well short of its predecessor.
aka Dog Soldiers. Karel Reisz, probably best known for the British classic Saturday Night and Sunday Morning takes the helm of this somewhat hidden doozy that is driven by a powerful Nick Nolte performance. It is stylistically reminiscent of both The Deer Hunter and Coming Home (both made the same year) with its Vietnam backdrop, hit record through lines, difficult love triangles, and expansive locations. Inevitably though, it suffered the fate of obscurity by going head to head with two stronger films with trendier casts and that went on to awards and critical acclaim.
There is enough about this conceptually intriguing film to make it interesting, but it falls apart by attempting to shoe-horn in too many thriller elements and an action driven ending. It is the quiet drama of the characters and simple tension of the situation that are the film's strengths - it's a real shame they didn't see that through.