In the year 2154, the Earth has been decimated by disease and overpopulation. The wealthy have fled and live on a space station named Elysium where there is no war, poverty or illness. In fact, they have medi-beds that can cure any illness or disease in just moments. Life is perfect. According to the dictionary, Elysium is ‘ The place at the ends of the earth to which certain favored heroes were conveyed by the gods after death ‘. Those remaining on Earth live in shanty towns and make a living the best way they can. They cannot travel to Elysium. People die on Earth knowing that just 20 minutes away via shuttle, whatever ails them can be cured within 30 seconds. Literally.
Obviously, getting to Elysium is the goal of almost every person living on Earth.
Max (Damon) works at a plant that makes the robots who control Earth’s residents (kinda like police ) in lieu of Elysium’s natives who deem it beneath them to travel to the planet. After an accident at work, he receives a lethal dose of radiation and has 5 days to live. His desire to reach Elysium is now a matter of life and death and he will do whatever it takes to get there.
He agrees to help out some criminals mates and retrieve some data that will allow access to vast fortunes. This means he will be fitted with an exoskeleton that will alow information to be downloaded directly into his brain. His payment for this is a ticket to Elysium and an ID tattoo. The ID tattoo is for instant access to the medi-bed. But the kidnap/heist attempt takes a dramatic turn when Max finds himself in possession of information that can shut down the entire security systems. He is now the most wanted man on Earth.
The head of Elysium’s security is Delacourt (Foster) and she more than anyone needs the info stored in Damon’s head. She has hitman-for-hire type Kruger (Copley) and his team hunt Max down and bring his brain to Elysium. The race is now on for Max to reach Elysium’s computers before Kruger finds him.
This movie is from the Director of District 9, Neill Blomkamp. And like District 9, there are lots of political and social messages here. Don’t get me wrong, you can enjoy it as just a sci-fi thriller but it does seem to have a deeper message.
Of course, the special effects were exactly what is expected these days. I think the days of being impressed by special effects is over to be honest. Those CGI peeps will have to think of some new stuff to WOW us now. I was impressed with the exoskeleton, how it was attached, how it worked. It had just the right amount of yucky gore…… enough to empathise with Max’s pain but not enough that you couldn’t stand to look at it. But I am a sook when it comes to gore so …….
I thought this was a great movie. Lots of action and fighting with a tender childhood sweetheart love story there as well. It had an excellent storyline but I was hoping it would be fleshed out a little more…. a little bit more of life on Earth vs life on Elysium. Maybe I’m just a sucker for peeking into the lives of the wealthy and at the same time, hoping the under-dogs will tear it all down.
Vive la Revolution!
Love Flick x
Director : Neill Blomkamp
Starring : Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Diego Luna, Alice Braga, William Fitchner, Wagner Moura, Emma Tremblay
Running Time : 109 minutes
Release Date : 15 August 2013