I wasn’t expecting much from this film, to be honest. I wasn’t a huge fan of Neill Blomkamp’s previous film, District 9, and I heard this was a lesser film. I wish I wouldn’t have let that jade my thoughts. Elysium is a solid science-fiction film with a prescient, topical message.
Elysium takes place in 2154, where poor people live on Earth while the wealthy citizens live on their own ecosystem called Elysium. Anyone who tries to enter Elysium without paying for a ticket is killed. Max (Matt Damon) has just been exposed to extreme amounts of radiation and has only five days left to live. He needs to get to Elysium to receive life-saving treatment. All hell breaks loose when he tries to leave Earth, though.
This film has some seriously badass action sequences. I was in awe of how well done the fight scenes were directed. Earth is grimy and dust-choked, overflowing with people. Elysium is clean, pristine, and shining. I loved how detailed each of these worlds were and the disparity between the two.
The performances were solid. Damon was a fantastic choice for the lead, and Sharlto Copley was a badass villain. I felt like Jodie Foster’s character was under-utilized though. I wish they would have fleshed her out more.
I also felt like the message of the film could have been more prominent, but overall I thought Blomkamp did a sufficient job with delivering his statement.
If you like science-fiction films with a message, which also happen to have amazing cinematography and action sequences, Elysium is more than worth a watch.