Elysium (2013)

 Director Neill Blomkamp stunned audiences everywhere in 2009 with “District 9” by providing a cautionary tale of what might happen if we we mistreat visitors from another world. Now the director is back again with “Elysium”, a tale about the perfect life up in space. How does this effort compare with that of “District 9”? Not by much, but the movie is still an impressive feet and something to watch and behold. With strong performances from the main cast, but with a predictable story, “Elysium” takes viewers on a good science fiction tale of what might happen to society in the future.

 The story follows a man named Max (Matt Damon) who wants nothing more than to live on the space colony Elysium. In the not too distant future, humans have overpopulated the Earth and polluted it so much that the governments of the world have decided that all the rich and wealthy citizens can live in Elysium, while the poor stay down on Earth. Those who try and sneak aboard the living facility have to deal with Delacourt (Jodie Foster) One day, Max gets hit with a massive dose of radiation and only has five days to live. Max then puts on a robotic suit that connects straight to his spine and heads to change the way Elysium is run.

 “Elysium” is actually pretty good, but not on the same level as “District 9” was. The acting is really good, especially from both Damon and Foster, who deliver some great performances in the movie. We even get “District 9” alumni Sharlto Copley who portrays a creepy assassin. The rest of the cast does a pretty good job but nothing too memorable. Neill Blomkamp who not only wrote and directed the movie did an outstanding job handling the action that audiences see on the screen. The locations and sets of the film look fantastic; the sets on Elysium get the message across perfectly and the slums of futuristic Los Angeles, which were actually filmed in Mexico, look like a post-apocalyptic future society. The visuals are great in the movie as are the special effects. They definitely look like something out of a science fiction world; even Elysium looks like a tribute to “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

 With that being said though, the movie does have a few problems. For one thing, the story is predictable as it deals with a lot of themes that are present in other movies. The poor getting their revenge on the rich, and most importantly the health care industry. The camera gets very shaky at times, that can leave the viewer with a headache. Finally, the pacing of the film could have been expanded by a bit. Also, “Elysium” doesn’t have the shock value that “District 9” had, so the movie may turn off some viewers perception of the film.

 In conclusion, while “Elysium” may not hold a candle to “District 9” in some areas, it still is an interesting choice of direction from Neill Blomkamp. Let’s see where he will take us next.

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