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Elysium - Film Review

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Published August 18th 2013
Exploration of todays' problems 140 years from now
Neill Blomkamp brought his audience an insight into life on Earth in 2154 in his 2013 sci-fi thriller Elysium. Earlier in the century Earth had become severely overpopulated and disease was running rampant. Resources were exhausted and healthcare was at an all time low. Those who were wealthy enough escaped Earth and fled to an orbiting space station called Elysium where poverty and war were non-existent. This alternate living platform was constructed so beautifully that I could not help but exclaim 'WOW!' repeatedly as we were granted sweeping shots of the space city. There was no disease on Elysium, even the slightest hint of body malfunction, including aging, was remedied within the Med-Pods. It was for this reason that Earthlings would risk life and limb to gain a ticket to Elysium.

Matt Damon in Elysium
I only wish that he looked this fierce in the actual film. Awesome gun though !

The film follows the life of Max (Behind the Candelabra 's Matt Damon) from his childhood as an orphan to his adulthood where he is a lowly ex-con working in an Armadyne factory. From his first promise to his orphanage sweetheart, Frey (I Am Legend' s Alice Braga), we're given the notion that the film will end with the two of them in Elysium. Just after securing a date with his long lost sweetheart, Max is gifted with a lethal dose of radiation during a workplace accident. And so begins his journey both within and outside of himself. He strikes up a deal with an ex-associate people smuggler, reconnects with Fey and battles head to head with the films two most aggressive characters; government minister Delacourt (a suspiciously convincing Julia Gillard look-alike played by Nim's Island's Jodie Foster) and her mercenary Kruger (The A Team's Sharlto Copley). I'll leave the story telling at that but would like to add that from the opening 10 minutes, the audience would have been able to clearly and accurately predict the entire plot.

Jodie Foster in Elysium as Minister Delacourt
Can you see the resemblance?

While the film successfully explored themes such as immigration and class separation, issues related to health-care were carelessly developed. Blomkamp failed to address the overarching issue of overpopulation which was a huge flaw in the credibility of the film especially because it was the main reason for the class split from Earth to Elysium. All in all it was an interesting film; the action sequences were conducted beautifully with just the right mix of hand held filming and awe inspiring guns and the mildly offensive choices of accents provided the audience with some unexpected laughs. I give this film a 3 out of 5 star rating.

All images courtesy of TriStar Pictures
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Why? To learn from someone else's mistakes.
When: Now until screenings stop.
Where: Your local cinema!
Cost: $16
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