Movie Review: Elysium!
Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp
With two movies under his belt, director Neill Blomkamp has now officially become a filmmaker that I will follow throughout his career.Elysium, his follow up to the incredible District 9, is bigger, bolder, and better than his debut feature, allowing Blomkamp to surpass the dreaded “sophomore slump” that many directors fall into.
Elysium is a futuristic tale of the haves and the have nots, albeit one that’s a little more straightforward than some would expect. The upper class are literally up above the rest of the citizens of Earth, orbiting the planet in the space station Elysium, a place where any disease or injury is quickly fixed, allowing its citizens to live forever. Run by the ruthless Defense Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster), any and all unauthorized spacecrafts are obliterated before they reach the craft’s atmosphere, thanks to her ruthless sleeper agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley).
Enter Max, a former car thief who’s trying to turn his life around. Played stunningly well by Matt Damon, Max is a guy who’s constantly kicked around by those around him, and when an accident at work leaves him with only days left to live, he makes it his mission to get to Elysium to cure himself. His childhood friend Frey (Alice Braga) finds out about his plan, and begs him to take her sick child with him as well.
To go any further into Elysium’s plot would spoil a lot of the fun of the movie, but trust me when I say that you need to see this film. Blomkamp clearly has a lot to say, and gives us a view of the future that is frighteningly close to reality. In all honesty, would you be surprised if you heard that the 1% of the world decided tomorrow that they were going to live in a space station above us? Probably not.
Speaking of frightening, Sharlto Copley’s performance as Kruger is one of the best of the year. This is a complete departure from Wikus in District 9. Copley is absolutely thrilling to watch; even when he’s acting like the biggest sleaze ball you’ve ever seen. His interrogation of Frey is so well done that it’s hard to remind yourself that it’s just a film, and I sincerely hope he’s recognized come Oscar season.
Neill Blomkamp was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar for District 9, and in all honesty, I think he can get another one for Elysium. Like Blade Runner, The Matrix, and yes, even District 9, Elysium stands as one of the best examples of great science fiction in film, putting a futuristic spin on a modern issue. Blomkamp has been constantly asked in recent interviews if he’ll ever take on a Star Wars or Marvel film, and he’s said that he wants to focus on his own ideas. Well, as long as they remain as unique and fantastic as his first two films, I’m in. Welcome to the big leagues Mr. Blomkamp, you’ve definitely earned your spot.
Verdict: Five Exo-Skeletons Out of Five