Elysium (2013)

Film

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Directed and written by:  Neill Blomkamp Starring: Matt DamonJodie FosterSharlto Copley

Set 150 years from now, humanity is split into two factions, the rich living on a remote space station called Elysium, while the poor live on an over-populated and desolate Earth.  Elysium offers clean air, plentiful food and “med beds” which allow users to completely heal themselves, while on Earth medical care is basic in the extreme.  Max (Matt Damon) is one of the poor folk, who spent the majority of his youth committing crimes in the hope to be able to buy passage to Elysium. In a twist of fate he finds himself in desperate need of medical attention, and his efforts to reach Elysium become even more feverish. Out to stop him are the Secretary Delacorte, Secretary of State for Defence (Josie Foster) and her rogue agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley).

Blomkamp has provided audiences with another lively sci-fi action film, but it all feels far too much like the fabulous District 9 for it to really resonate. The technology is all very beautifully designed, and Damon, Foster and Copley are all good in their respective roles, but Elysium never really gets beyond being a smart action film. The message of rich and poor divided is heavy-handed and the denouement left me feeling that the ramifications perhaps hadn’t been entirely thought through.

Elysium is another visually interesting offering from Blomkamp, and while it is entertaining it doesn’t quite deliver on its promise of being an action film with a brain.

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