MOVIE REVIEW: Elysium. Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga. Directed by Neill Blomkamp
It's a good year for post- apocalyptic science-fiction at the movies, if that's your thing. It happens to be my thing, so film-wise I'm having a pretty good year. My favourite is Pacific Rim, because it's the giant robot/alien film of my heart, but let's talk about Elysium.
Elysium is very, very good. It's clever, while being engaging and heartbreaking all at once.
By the latter half of the 21st century, Earth is well and truly on its way out. Pollution, overcrowding, poverty and crime have created a perfect storm of hopelessness.
So, of course, the rich get out while the getting is still good, and create their own paradise on Elysium, a giant wheel-shaped starbase that hovers in Earth's atmosphere, silently mocking those stuck on Earth with a grinding kind of hope.
Max (Matt Damon) is a former car thief, trying to turn his life around, as much as he can, living below the poverty line in a massive shantytown.
When he becomes ill with radiation poisoning through an accident, his only hope is a ride to Elysium.
Enter Spider, local crime boss and some very illegal goings-on.
Max gets jacked up with some cool-looking tech and then everything goes pear-shaped.
Meanwhile, on Elysium, Defence Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) is determined to keep the status quo: where the rich and pretty and privileged have all the nice things and everyone else doesn't.
She implements a very daring plan to stage a coup and it's not long before Max is embroiled in Delacourt's scheme.
Rounding out the bad-guy side of things is Kruger (Sharlto Copley) who is stone-cold crazy.
Copley completely sheds his bewildered everyman persona from District 9 and really goes for the complete psychopath.
As strange as it sounds, it's a good look.
Elysium is smart and sophisticated, with many layers and conversations to be had after about poverty and privilege, over- population and education.
It'll stick with you.
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