The most important aspect of any film is the story and how it is presented to the audience. The world presented in "Elysium" is fantastical and shameful. There are incredible leaps in industrial and medical technology. Yet, there are also catastrophic failures illuminated by the condition of the human race. Whether on a fallen, deteriorating planet of Earth or on a posh space station orbiting the planet, the human race is a shell of what it should be.
Writer, Director, Neill Blomkamp, chooses to exaggerate the separation between the rich and the poor on such an enormous scale that it's difficult to swallow during the introduction. The audience lands head first into an over-populated, extremely polluted, planet Earth. The condition is so poor, one wonders how anyone on Earth has survived.
The space station, "Elysium," is presented on a massive scale. The special effects are impressive. Credit, as usual, can be given to Industrial Light & Magic, among others, who contributed to the film. The concepts introduced in the film are unbelievable, in a good way. The film may have benefited from including more scenes on the space station itself. Most of the film seemed to be a mission to get there while navigating through depressing scenery.
The casting included accomplished actors and actresses. However, they could have had a bit more chemistry between them. Headliners, Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, never shared a scene together, though they represented the opposite world views in the film. The characters played by Alice Braga (Frey) and Emma Tremblay (Matilda) brought a touch of "heart" to the overall story that seemed to be missing otherwise. The rest of the cast looked uncomfortable in their roles and appeared almost robotic in their interaction with each other.
The level of violent deaths and coarse language becomes a distraction to the message embedded in the film. From exploding bodies to the threat of rape, the meaning is lost in the carnage. Unfortunately, this type of material is included throughout the film and limits the audience that can sit through it.
Overall, "Elysium" was born from a great imagination and a vital message towards the human race. However, most aspects of love and compassion are suffocated by bloodshed and recklessness.