Does Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi action-drama Elysium win over fans of District 9 despite the involvement of Matt Damon as the lead?
(USA 2013, director: Neill Blomkamp)
Working man Max gets in possession of a computer program that can restructure the political and social status of wealthy and poor citizens of Earth and the space station orbiting the planet.
Being rather sceptical if Damon could pull this off, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie I only discovered because of Blomkamp’s former breakthrough movie. In a way, the topics are the same with oppression by those who have the power and social upheaval by those who want to have an equal life of opportunities.
The main story isn’t the most original then, and there’s certainly a bit of potential lost by not showing more of the upper class (or upper planet)’s life. Trying hard to make the audience feel sympathy for its many characters becomes difficult, as the background stories aren’t fully fleshed out and some connections aren’t fully developed.
Still, the action sequences are brutally satisfying, some vistas of the planet Elysium are great (although this has been done to greater extent in videogames like Halo, again showing the videogame-y aesthetic of Blomkamp’s work), the soundtrack is cool as well. While the social criticism comes a bit heavy-handed, this is still an entertaining sci-fi flick which has a rather slow start (with some nice humor, though), but an explosive ending and some blockbuster setpieces.
What are your thoughts on the movie? Do you think it’s too videogame-y as well or that it’s an attempt to have the same success as the surprise hit District 9? Is this a future we’re already heading to?
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