Thursday, August 8, 2013
Elysium.....When Sci Fi Meets Political Undertones....
Elysium has peaked curiosity from it's first trailer. Matt Damon has moved away from drama and family oriented movies to being a bad ass again. Jodie Foster takes on a role we wouldn't expect and we are given what looks like another big budget summer movie....in August. The month can be a scary thing where summer movies are concerned. Very hit or miss. Does Elysium hit or join the list of summer disappointments?
The story begins on a polluted and overpopulated earth. People are poor, sick, and in some cases dying. The wealthy and elite have left earth to live on a giant space station called Elysium. The place cures disease, houses elite from all nations, and doesn't care much for illegal immigrants. Matt Damon is Max and orphan turned criminal turned factory worker. He is in love with Frey and dreams of living with her on Elysium. He is poisoned by radiation at his job and realizes he must get to Elysium to live. He gets caught up in a political conspiracy, tries to help a sick kid, and plans to make everyone citizens of the space station. He hooks up with the guy he went to prison for and gets fitted for this weird cybernetic exoskeleton.
The movie is filled with political undertones. It makes you think about what would happen if the government controlled health care. It slightly addresses the immigration problem. Metaphorically.
The movie hints that only the rich could live in such a place and that the wealthy really don't care for the poor. Metaphors for sure, but some would probably find truth in those metaphors.
The cast is strong, but it felt like Jodie Foster was a bit wasted. Matt Damon is very believable in his role and comes across solid. He has done well play vulnerable bad asses. Sharlto Copley as Kruger steals the show. He does a good bad guy and we have seen him do crazy before. It works. The movie is a bit far fetched at times, but it has a big budget feel even though it's a modest budget. It has the look and feel of District 9, but it is certainly it's own film. It has it's flaws, but overall my trip to Elysium was an entertaining one.