Nine Things about the Movie Elysium
1. This is a gorgeous, relevant science fiction film from Neill Blomkamp, the guy that made “District 9”.
2. It’s set in the year 2154, when all the rich people have moved off Earth to an orbiting space station called Elysium. Matt Damon stars as an ex-con car car thief on Earth, living in the slums of LA.
3. Jodie Foster plays the secretary of defense of Elysium. Her main job seems to be to get rid of illegal immigrants that try to force their way into the rich world.
4. After an industrial accident infects Matt Damon with lethal radiation, he joins forces with a group of hackers trying to steal valuable financial information.
5. I always admire actors that aren’t afraid to look like crap. Damon spends most of the movie dying from radiation poisoning and getting beat up. He does well. On the other end of the appearance spectrum, Foster is excellent as the fashionable, icy bitch that really runs Elysium. The way she enunciates words is so startlingly cultured that I had trouble paying attention to anything else when she talked.
6. Blomkamp seems to be obsessed with slums and favelas; this movie has a very similar look and feel to District 9. It could easily be occurring in the same world.
7. The lead role was first offered to a South African rapper named Ninja, but he didn’t want it. Then it was offered to Eminem. But Eminem wanted to film the movie in Detroit, and Hollywood said no. So it was given to Damon.
8. There are definitely a few plot holes, but they don’t take from the overarching story. The pacing and look of the film help distract you from paying too much attention to the problems.
9. It’s not a particularly original film. It’s about rich vs. poor, overpopulation, immigration, and the human condition. But the story is told well, the art design is delicious, and the acting is above average. Like Blomkamp’s first film, this is social commentary disguised as science fiction.