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Elysium

Elysium

Genders: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Drama

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Writer: Neill Blomkamp

Actors: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga

Year: 2013
Run time: 1h 49min
IMDB score: 6.9
Updated: 5 months ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Elysium

Genders: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Drama

Imdb Score: 6.9

Runtime: 1h 49min

Released: 09 Aug 2013

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Writer: Neill Blomkamp

Actors: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga

Box Office: $92.5M

Company: TriStar Pictures

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

Elysium Available Subtitles

English subtitles Elysium5 months ago
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Trailer


Review

It is flawed and by no means anywhere near on the same level as D9 but its solid entertainment and a smarter than average sci/fi film.

7/10 Matt Damon stars in the Sci-fi/political thriller Elysium, Neill Blomkamp's follow up to District 9, along with Jodie Foster as Elysium's Secretary Delacourt and Sharlto Copley as the main villain Kruger. Is Elysium on par with Oscar nominated District 9? Absolutely NOT! Not even close but it is still a solid sci/fi entertainment. It is a more conventional film than its predecessor, which I was not expecting from Blomkamp.

The film starts of very cliche and gave me some eye roll moments but it quickly picks itself up from reaching into mediocrity. They way it does this is by evoking political messages through out the film in relevance with today's society. Questioning our handling with immigration, military power, our health care. Which I found to be important in this film. Obviously me and Blomkamp share each others political stance. For anyone else it might seem like its trying to oversell its message.

I felt most of the cast were very under used. Jodie Foster's character really didn't have much to work with. She was just there to move the plot forward. Matt Damon served his purpose as the lead but by no means of the imagination is this one of his best performances. They were all over shadowed by Sharlto Copley. My God, is he great as Kruger! Right away we are introduced into this provocative-sociopath with no regard for human life. The story really needed this kind of menacing character. He is by far the film's best positive. Another negative aspect of this film would be its pacing. When we are given emotional scenes they don't stay long enough to settle and doesn't give that emotional impact you were hoping for.

Like District 9 it delivers on the the beautiful imagery. Using the very best Weta Workshop has to offer. From its big guns to the human-like robots, to the space station of Elysium. The action set pieces were just as exciting as its predecessor. The film really manages to capture all its budget on screen. My biggest issue comes from the excessive use of shaky cam. It was used when the characters were simply walking to the action sequences. I felt ninety percent of this film was shaky cam. Which got me a little dizzy since I ,unfortunately, got to sit in the very front of the theater. That might have something to do with it as well.

Neill Blomkamp has established once again that he can compete with the best Directors of the genre films. Elysium shows more flaws than his first film but they are overwhelmed by its positive aspects, to me at least. It was not a disappointment and it was a solid popcorn entertainment and a smarter than average sci/fi film.

one year ago

Elysium gets worse and worse the more I reflect on it...

1/10 This movie was such a colossal failure on so many levels. I don't usually write reviews for movies, but this monstrosity was so atrocious that I felt compelled to warn unsuspecting potential viewers of the steaming pile of sewage that is referred to as "Elysium".

Where to start

First off, the plot was a laughingstock. Even if you can ignore the choppy camera-work that looks like the doings of a toddler with a buffed up camera, there's no ignoring the plot. Some examples of the numerous holes in the plot 1) Apparently, if a grenade gets blown up inches from your head, your brain is still intact and it can be repaired at Elysium. 2) If Carlyle could make the code to make Jodie Foster president, then why didn't he just make himself president or give himself all the power, by implementing the code himself or subtly adding a nuance in there? Not the sharpest tool in the shed. 3) Where are all the satellites to help track down Matt Damon while he is fleeing the villains? It seems some of the technology 100+ years in the future has actually regressed. 4) If the medical terminals can literally give a person a new head, through repairing a "brain", why can't they disable the sociopathic tendencies of characters like Jodie Foster on Elysium? Once again, only certain technology has evolved for the director's benefit. 5) In order to let one spaceship enter Elysium, you must allow all spaceships to enter too by taking down the no-fly zone. That makes total sense. 6) Last but certainly not least: the ending. Apparently everyone is going to live happily ever after on Elysium now? Every rich person on Elysium just wanted all those poor people on earth to suffer! But now the world is sugar plums and everyone lives happily! Yay!

Secondly, there was never any point in the film in which I felt connected to the characters in any matter. Why was this? Well, none of them had any depth. The dialogue was one cliche after another. The primary villain in the story appears to have some sort of speech impediment, because for most of the movie he is inaudible. A well-told story will also have a villain that has deeper complexities as to his/her background and motives. This character was just a bumbling moron. Matt Damon and Jodie Foster did the best that they could, but their scripts were so poor that it would have been more interesting had they been reading off the menu at a local Olive Garden. The exchange regarding the hippo between Damon and the little girl that is dying of seizures had me cringing in my seat at the awkwardness of the whole matter. I should have walked out then and there.

Also, why was the best look we ever got of Elysium one where we saw a few trees and a woman swimming in a pool? Would looking at the inner workings of the politics and lifestyle on Elysium simply have exposed this film for the fraud that it is? I'm not going to go too deeply into the themes of the movie, as everyone has their own opinions, but it doesn't take much to realize the hidden (and rather misguided, imo) opinion of the director in this one. The message was about as subtle as receiving a ton of bricks to the head. View at your own risk for your blood pressure will likely rise after watching this one, as it objectively is a pathetic disgrace of a film.

one year ago

Elysium is visually gorgeous but its story and characters left me cold and disappointed

5/10 After director Neill Blomkamp's fantastic debut film District 9 I was understandably eager to see his new sci-fi film Elysium. Unfortunately his second feature doesn't quite match up with the greatness that was District 9.

Visually the film is quite stunning and it has some great cinematography when it comes to the larger shots. The CGI effects are excellent and blend in well with the environment. The Earth of the film looks very gritty, believable and lived-in and the space station Elysium has this very sterile and futuristic look to it. You could really buy it that Earth could look like this with many decades of neglect and poverty. Everything's in disrepair and in decline. The rich on the other hand have every resource available to them in their own little paradise in space. The set and production designers truly did a great job with the locations.

Matt Damon is decent as the film's protagonist Max who is an ex-con now working on assembling the droids which keep order on the now overpopulated Earth. His role and the writing of his character isn't anything too special or memorable but he does what he can with it. He's just a no nonsense guy who is thrown into a difficult situation. He was also quite sarcastic and funny when he was dealing with the droids in the earlier part of the film but we didn't see this side of him at all after that. Alice Braga plays Max's childhood friend Frey with whom Max meets up again when he's an adult. I didn't feel much of an emotional connection or chemistry between them though and that hampered the film a bit. Their back story is told almost completely in sentimental flashback sequences which I didn't care for. The antagonists in this film were very one-dimensional and over the top. Jodie Foster plays Elysium's defense minister Delacourt and Sharlto Copley (who was also in District 9) plays an undercover agent named Kruger who is positioned on Earth. They're both very cliche and uninteresting. The writing of all the characters wasn't very good at all in this film and I didn't get emotionally invested in any of them.

The story isn't that great either and this then also takes away from the film's many action sequences because we don't have that big a stake in them. The film starts quite strongly as it juxtaposes the situation on Earth and on Elysium to highlight the problems of social and economic inequality. Then suddenly when the action starts, these issues fade far in to the background in favor of more and more action. From the trailers and the hype I really got this impression that the film would deal with these issues in a thoughtful manner. Regrettably this is not the case with this film. A big problem with the film is also that none of the characters seems to learn anything new or change their beliefs or anything like that. A huge part of the success of District 9 was in seeing how the main character evolved after spending some time with the aliens. In Elysium the good guys are the good guys and bad guys are the bad guys. There's no complexity, nuance or subtlety in any of them. We also don't get to meet any other citizens of Elysium beside the higher up leaders like defense minister Delacourt and president Patel. It would've been interesting to see the common people of Elysium and how they react to the situation, what their beliefs are and what drives them. The writing is also a little too pointed out and heavy-handed. Some of it just made me think "Wow, really?". For example, at one point the CEO of the droid production company literally tells some mid-level manager not to breathe at his direction. Things also seem to happen way too conveniently to push the plot along. Then again you could say this about many films but you really start to pay attention to these things when you're not completely engrossed in the film. This film surely would've benefited from a more subtle approach. The ending was also way too simplistic for my taste.

The action in this film is quite intense and it looks very impressive at times. The exoskeletons were fun and looked convincing. Then comes the shaky cam. Oh boy. It's really quite annoying and very often it's hard to see what's going on. They should've really taken a page from the Bourne movies on how to shoot action scenes. Luckily the shaky cam isn't there all the time but the action could've definitely been improved with a clearer shooting style.

All in all, the film has decent action with absolutely gorgeous visuals and it moves along at a good pace. Sadly the writing, the plot and the characters aren't that interesting and it's hard to get emotionally invested in this film. It's watchable and probably quite entertaining if you're in the proper mood for it. For me, the film ultimately left me a bit cold and disappointed.

one year ago

Liked the CGI and sets, but didn't like the story

5/10 What seems to be a trend in big budget SF films occurred, once again, in Elysium. I'm continually impressed with what is being created (visual effects wise)today, but remain disappointed when it comes to the associated screenplays/plot lines. At the end of this film, I had the same, perpetual feeling that no one out there making SF films gets the message: without a good story, you don't have a really good film. Elysium hearkens me back to Prometheus, directed by Ridley Scott. I would have thought he, at least, would appreciate the need for a good story to match the visuals. Especially after being the brains behind Bladerunner. But, oh no - same thing. I suspect that so much talent and expense is spent on the visuals that insufficient amounts of funding and time are left for the associated story.

I just wish that, when someone comes up with future plans for making a legitimate SF film (sans comic book scenarios), they contract a real science fiction author to write the screenplay. There are any number of SF writers out there that can, I believe, turn out much better scripts than currently making their way to the big screen.

Bottom line: the world building in Elysium was excellent. Probably some of the best since Avatar. I wish there had been some of this when Bladerunner was produced. As an avid, and long time fan of true science fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of the film. As for the story, it could have been a lot, lot better.

one year ago

Lacking in Motivation

4/10 Elysium is the follow up, much anticipated by many, to the critically acclaimed District 9 from South African-Canadian director and writer Neill Blomkamp.

In the middle of the 21st Century, with the world now grossly over-populated and law and order seemingly at breaking point, the super wealthy have decamped to a satellite space station highly visible from earth, a utopian society free of poverty, illness and other such mundane woes.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of earth's population lives in squalid, cramped slums seemingly based on the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Needless to say, the rich are all too keen to protect their enclave and any unauthorised vessels arriving from earth are duly dispatched by being blasted away.

Jodie Foster stars as Elysium's ambitious and sociopathic Defence Secretary, as ruthless at advancing her own interests as she is at ensuring the purity of the over-sized Ferris wheel whose security is in her charge; Matt Damon is the working class drone desperately trying to access the other world for the treatment to cure his radiation sickness from which he will die in 5 days.

There was clearly an interesting concept waiting to burst out here, an opportunity to explore themes of wealth, inequality, social status, health care and immigration, but sadly it failed on almost every level to build interest or have anything relevant to say.

First, we saw so little of the societal structure or way of life on Elysium itself. Apart from Jodie Foster and a few other high ranking officials, the film showed us nothing of how this satellite was run. It looked as if everyone lived in a McMansion style-home – the type you find next to golf courses in Florida or on the Sunshine Coast. It all looked terribly sterile, reminiscent of the contrived town Jim Carrey inhabited in The Truman Show. We were not privy as to who cut the lawns, did the plumbing or washed the dishes. Superficially, the lives of these pampered people seemed hollow and totally unfulfilled – where were the galleries, the museums, the theatres or even a casino for those that might like that sort of thing? Frankly, the impoverished life on earth which was shown with enforced work in a fascistic environment seemed far more fulfilling.

Further, Matt Damon's motives for getting on Elysium were totally selfish. All he wanted was to save his own skin. Granted, there was then concocted an unconvincing love interest and a wish to save his childhood sweetheart's little girl but this too was just parochial. Where was the burning anger borne from social injustice, the wish to better the lot of all humankind, the working class warrior on a mission? And when the film's final denouement came it was head in a sick-bag time.

The script and dialogue were banal, as was Jodie Foster's delivery. Matt Damon worked harder to bring some interest to his character but he was up against it – but at least he tried.

The CGI was good – but that's pretty much a given in any well-funded Hollywood film these days. Close up camera work was appalling, non-stop wobble vision which made action sequences confusing. This camera style is so unnecessary and it really is beyond comprehension as to why film-makers persist in its use; in small doses it can be effective but when near constant it produces a feeling of nausea.

It is so disappointing to be relentlessly negative about a film but when they are as lacking as this one, the positives can be hard to find.

one year ago