Elysium: A bleak future and a good but even bleaker movie

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comAugust 8, 2013 

Film Review Elysium

This film publicity image released by TriStar, Columbia Pictures-Sony shows Matt Damon in a scene from "Elysium." (AP Photo/TriStar, Columbia Pictures - Sony, Kimberley French)


Loosely defined, Webster says elysium is a place of perfect happiness for certain people. In Elysium, it is a huge, moon-sized satellite that orbits Earth where all rich people live in perfection. Set in 2154, the chosen few have machines that cure all their diseases and infirmities and they live long, long lives.

Earth, in the meantime, is an overpopulated sewer. Chaos, disease and unhappiness reign as robot police operated by Elysium's elite oppress the poor.

Matt Damon is Max. An accident at a plant that manufactures the robots dooms him to death in five days. He's connected to Earth's underworld and cuts a deal to get to Elysium to get cured. To do so, he has to steal information from a corporation owner who works on Earth. It turns out the guy is in on a plot to take over Elysium and has the data to shut down the government and restart it with Jodie Foster's evil Delacourt in charge.

Elysium is Neill Blomkamp's second major film. Like he did in 2009's District 9, Blomkamp gives the near future a negative, narrow, violent -- but probably more accurate than Star Trek -- view. His effects are exceptional and you are literally and believably transported to 2154.

Good acting from a great cast also helps sell the subject.

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharito Copely, Alice Braga, Diego Luna

Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars

Rated R for violence, language and mature themes. It's playing at the Carmike 10, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service