Matt Damon in “Elysium”
Considering that in the last two years we’ve seen several reboots and remakes, its no surprise a film like Elysium would pop up sooner or later. It borrows most of its story from other films that made for good sci-fi in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Not to mention simple gimmicks like putting Matt Damon in an iron suit from other recent notable films this year like Iron Man or The Wolverine. Logan may not wear a suit, but he still uses the adamantium claws as the weapon they are. Elysium’s Max De Costa (Matt Damon) is no different. He treats the suit he’s given as a weapon instead of using for its sole purpose of getting him from point A to point B.
It is the year 2154 and earth has become riddled with disease, pollution and overpopulation. Essentially earth is a wasteland full of scum and slime that would make even Jabba the hut look twice. The story takes place in a Latino filled Los Angeles where we meet Max De Costa, your typically confident Matt Damon, whom is the cause of his own problems. Which begins on his way to work one day with a run in with a robotic cop that’s brutality that no one else seems to notice, followed by a parole officer that is also automated with graffiti to boot. Man no longer has a fair trial and the system is clearly far more broken than it is today. Things only get worse when Max is working his assembly line and a palette gets stuck in the door and his assembly line manager orders him to get in and fix it. Max is then exposed to radiation and has five days left to live. Which is why he anxiously demands to fly up to the utopia of Elysium, which looks like earth just plotted on Star Trek’s station Deep Space Nine.
Max must first steal information from a Slimey corporate CEO before he’ll even be allowed to leave earth. This plot gets convoluted when a friend from the past played by Alice Braga asks for help.
Sharlto Copley who was the hero of Blomkamp’s first film District 9 makes an interesting villain, but certainly not a memorable one. His character jumps from wanting to kill Matt Damon’s love interest to wanting to retire and marry her in scenes preceding her introduction. It’s silly and just downright weird.
Jodie Foster whom has certainly had better roles plays a character whose only real goal throughout the film is to prevent earth people from landing on Elysium and shooting them down if necessary to prevent such a violation. Foster’s Delacourt also features an accent that is not only hard to place, but makes no so sense whatsoever. Foster like so many other notable actors in this film do what they can to deliver on a script that is ultimately poorly contrived and could have been conceived when it had so much it wanted to say about the rich vs. poor dynamic.
Elysium is a downright boor and nothing new. Lacking on many major fronts and suffering from many logical errors, It’s surprising that such a film could have been greenlit in the first place. Blomkamp’s sophomore effort is certainly a dud.