Even though there aren’t any intergalactic life forms in "Elysium," the humans left on Earth might as well appear that way to the elites living on at the floating space station as aliens.
The film has a familiar theme from Neil Blompkamp's previous film “District 9.” Those left behind are left living in squalor conditions that has ravaged the planet while those fortunate begin their life anew without any worries of overpopulation and disease in space in the year 2154.
The difference beween Elysium and Earth residence is shown through Max (Matt Damon) who's represent the every man persona on Earth. He is a factory worker who becomes indespensible after an incident on the assembly line leaves him requiring medical attention that he can’t get on Earth but on Elysium.
For those that are able to move just a bit upward in class and status on Earth aren’t doing any better as exemplified by Frey (Alice Braga) a nurse who also wants to go to Elysium but to save her daughter showing them as second class universal citizens.
Both Max and Frey met as orphans living in an orphanage depending upon one another. Their realtionship gets closer with childhood promises being made but never fulfilled before they diverge until reunited.
Mr. Damon does a great job in portraying a man willing to do whatever it takes to get a flight to rid his cancer radiation overload by striking up a deal with Spider (Wagner Moura), his ticket to getting a flight and entering into Elysium atomosphere.
His character is believable in showing the effects of radiation poisoning in portraying his vulnerability and weakness before he re-emeges as a super soldier fitted with his robotic armor technology that will be necessary for his mission.
He must target John Carlyle (William Fichtner), an Elysium resident who oversees a factory on Earth, whose imprint they need to get into the land with the assistance of Julio (Diego Luna), a friend from his criminal past. Unbeknowst, Carlyle's carrying information for Elysium's Secretary of Defense Delacourt (Jodie Foster) who has bigger ambitions than her current position.
The secretary's contact on Earth is sleeper agent Kruger (Sharlto Cooper) who goes on off-the-record assignments. Mr. Cooper is better off as the sad-sack individual who portrayed the Matt Damon character persona in “District 9.” His portrayal as the thug-for-hire comes off as over-the-top as an unstoppable agent with an unorthodox method of getting the job done. His ability to operate without any checks and recklessness makes him a wild-card character testing his loyalty before aspiring for bigger plans as well.
Mr. Blompkamp has great vision for a dystopian future that lies ahead if the Earth continues on its trajectory in the commentary message that could be interpreted by the film. Instead of focusing on the differences between the individuals that have and have-not, he spends most of his time on the robotic elements in creating his futuristic world.
The sequences of battle between men and their robot oppressors and men in robot armor deviates from the story to show how lives deviate based upon status and class glimpsed only momentarily.
The film gives a sad commentary on those left behind and has the viewers rooting for them to succeed sneaking into Elysium onboard crafts at whatever costs. The attention to the details of replicating Earth 2.0 makes you forget that the structure is floating in space until the camera zooms out to show the universe in its mass.
Even the well-off living in Elysium aren’t immune to one another let along those on Earth as they look for their way into the paraidse that is within their reach and all the wonders that lay.
Classification: In Theaters
Grade: 3 stars out of 5 stars.
The story feels the same only this time there are no aliens and more robots. The main characters go through their struggle after an unfortunate incident risking it all for their recovery and redemption. The trip to "Elysium" is a winding journey that goes off course before its intended destination.
Rating: R for strong bloody violence and language throughout
Timing: 1 Hour, 49 Minutes
Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Drama, Thriller.
- Director & Writer: Neil Blompkamp