ELYSIUM: THE REVIEW **SPOILER ALERT**

Just putting it out there – I love sci-fi – it is easily my favourite genre – that journey into the unknown and the fact the only way for films to be made there is for a director to utilise pure imagination is what makes it brilliant. It is the same with fantasy – only your imagination can stop you from creating anything from nothing. And so it was that when I first heard Neill Blomkamp was making another sci-fi based film, after the incredibly successful District 9, myself and about a billion other people cheered in unbridled joy. It should be noted that in this review I am inserting spoilers – do not read this review unless you have seen the film. Why am I doing this for the first time ever? Because I want to discuss the film and I cannot do this properly without sharing things you will see in the film. If you want to know what we thought of the film without reading – scroll to the bottom and read our pop scores.

 

Neill Blomkamp, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Elysium, Elysium Review, Elysium Film, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, District 9, Jason King
SALTY POPCORN REVIEW OF ELYSIUM

 

Elysium is set in the not too distant future, in an imagined hypothetical world, which is so believable it is scary. The world is over populated and over polluted and the divide between the rich and the poor has reached all new levels. Imagine the path the planet is currently on and then move it forward about 1000yrs and this world is ours. The rich people, as usual, do not give a shit about the poor people and after they have decimated the planet have decided it is better to build an orbiting utopia in the orbit of Earth. This in itself seems more realistic than the possibility of colonising Mars. They can make it their own little elite club where everything is clean and perfect and this way they can keep raping the planet but now they don’t have to see it and they can live as blissfully and ignorantly happy as usual.

 

Neill Blomkamp, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Elysium, Elysium Review, Elysium Film, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, District 9, Jason King
Gratuitous

 

Matt Damon plays Max, an ex con car thief who is on the straight and narrow and is on parole and managed by non-emotive parole robots and strict police – everything is black and white. Max is being ground down, just like the rest of the planet, and when he is forced to do something by his asshole boss or lose his job, well things do not go well for Max. He is left with five days to live, unless he can get to Elysium without being killed on the way. Throw in a secretary of defence who believes in defending Elysium by any means necessary to preserve the perfect utopia and an old childhood friend with a sick kid and you have a fine film.

This film is HUGE, it has all the production elements of District 9 with the budget of Earth in the time of Elysium. It is box office gold and is the big bucket of popcorn film for the month. It has uber star Damon, arty cred and uniqueness by Blomkamp, one of the best bad guys in history with a very different Sharlto Copley as Kruger, and kick ass story with mind blowing visuals. So why did I not LOVE, to the point of worship, this film. There was four things that annoyed me. But let me make this very clear – the positives of this film far outweigh the negatives of it.

 

Neill Blomkamp, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Elysium, Elysium Review, Elysium Film, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, District 9, Jason King
ELYSIUM – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

1) JODIE FOSTER IS JUST APPALLING. I love this woman, to me she is up their with Streep and Weaver (the Alien one), her portrayals onscreen always mesmerise me and I have been spellbound since Silence of the Lambs. She looks amazing in this film and could easily play anything but after seeing this I am now unsure. As a bad person either her character was written poorly and was way two dimensional for a film this clever or her heart wasn’t in it. And that accent – it was like Jim Carrey’s “most annoying sound in the world” while dancing with three inch toenails on a chalk board and running forks over the bottom of a saucepan. I was not a fan at all – and to be honest – when she leaves the living on Elysium it came out of nowhere and really diminished any form of worth or importance in her character, it just didn’t seem right that she would have died there.

 

Neill Blomkamp, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Elysium, Elysium Review, Elysium Film, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, District 9, Jason King
ELYSIUM – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

2) Some of the action sequences are so jumpy in their hand held filming and pace that the people who got sick when they first watched Cloverfield may die in this movie – it annoyed the shit out of me and no hand held jumpy sequences have ever disturbed me.

3) The predictability of the film – I knew the ending about 15mins into the film. How? Max says it will not happen about ten times throughout the film – even Jennifer Aniston films allow the audience to sometimes come to conclusions on their own 🙂

4) OK – do not shoot me –  I actually think Damon was miscast in this film. I think it is because he was basically a pussy – he eventually fired up – but after three Bourne films I wanted a Max who was more Mad Max than Max from Where the Wild Things Are.

NOW – all that being said – it doesn’t matter too much as the film is bloody brilliant.

 

Neill Blomkamp, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Elysium, Elysium Review, Elysium Film, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, District 9, Jason King
ELYSIUM – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Why, you ask?

1) The sci-finess of this film is mind blowing – the use of large backdrop shots of Earth with spaceships flying in front of it was spectacular – the space flight stuff was very recent Battlestar styling. The shuttle like things I can actually imagine as eventuating, just like how Star Trek invented the iPad and iPhone so too may this film invent the space pod shuttle – loved them.

2) Diego Luna as Julio nearly made the film for me – I just LOVE this guy. He is one of the hottest guys alive and oozes Mexican sex appeal – his Mexican films are legendary ( Y Tu Mama Tambien to name one) and then he has been in things like Milk, The Terminal and Frida) – was so stoked he was chosen as the “Mexican dude”.

3) KRUGER – that is all. Copley stole the show.

4) The action and body damage in this film breaks boundaries, watching Kruger’s face get blown off with a hand grenade will blow your mind (haha pun intended). I watched this at a media screening in a smaller cinema – you could say I did not realise how excited I could get with a wicked new death, but when the lady behind me started laughing at a certain “booyah” from me (there quite possibly could have been an accompanying fist pump) – I knew I should tone it down a bit.

5) Blomkamp – the guy knows how to use Mexican slums to make a superb backdrop to a film. His films are genius, they are same same but different. Same area, same messages, same action, but this time more balls, more money and just more.

6) The message and plot for the story is quite simple – it is a future Robin Hood-like tale – however it is not about taking from the rich to give to the poor – it is about sharing the wealth of the world, looking after the little people, helping those who need help and overcoming desire and wealth whoring for the greater good – funnily enough the exact same premise that made the Star Trek universe real. It is about forming a society that is morally better and does not need money – we are all one race, one world and one team – we are Earthlings. Start bloody acting like it.

 

Neill Blomkamp, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Elysium, Elysium Review, Elysium Film, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, District 9, Jason King
ELYSIUM – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

This is clever sci-fi – think original Total Recall meets I Robot meets District 9 with a sprinkling of Battlestar Gallactica and you have this film to a tee. The flaws in the film get passed over and ignored when you see something grade A awesome for the first time. Sadly, I weep for Foster’s performance but Copley makes up for everything in this film – next film I want Blomkamp to make – KRUGER: ORIGINS. HELL YEAH!!

ELYSIUM is out now, it is rated MA15+, it is not 3D (although it would have suited the format) and it runs for 109mins. See it just for Kruger and you will not be disappointed.

 

SALTY’S POP SCORE:

 

4 Pops

 

 

KERNEL ADAM’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

 

 

KERNEL BEN’S POP SCORE:

4 and a Half Pops