Elysium (2013) -Neill Blomkamp


So I decided to take in the next Neill Blomkamp movie in the Sci-Fi Chronicles book, and I’m glad I did, because watching Elysium and District 9 back to back, it’s very easy to buy into the possibility that both films (and probably Chappie as well, which is not on the list) take place in the same reality.

In Elysium’s case, we’re just over 100 years on from today, in the year 2154, but hey, wouldn’t it have taken that long to reverse engineer some of the alien tech in District 9 now that we know they have bio-technology that would allow us to use their technology?


Matt Damon and Jodie Foster headline the film, that once again, bases its story on a current reality… that of the financial class structure that seems set to tear the western world apart…

The 1% have left Earth, living in high orbit on a space station called Elysium where every need can be met, there are med bays in each luxurious home, and they don’t have to deal with the rest of the world and its rampant poverty. Overseeing all of this, is Jodie Foster’s Delacourt, who has her own plans for Elysium, including using her agent on the surface, Kruger (Sharlto Copley) to take care of any problems that come up.

Meanwhile, on the ravaged, littered, and overrun Earth, Damon’s Max is trying to eke out an existence, living in a slum, and trying to just get by as best as he can. But the system seems stacked against him, not to mention problems he had earlier in life.


When a work accident gives him 5 days to live, he decides to do something about it… like get to Elysium and use one of the med-bays, but some of the locals have a bigger plan, and after a data heist gone mostly wrong, Max is the key to all of it.

The last half of the film plays like a prolonged action sequence, and it doesn’t quite deal with a lot of the class warfare that we are seeing everywhere today, it merely seems to suggest that the 99% rise up and take what they want from the 1% or change the rules to give us all a level playing field – but again, violence was used to do that…

Is that truly the only answer we have now for the class warfare that is extinguishing the middle class and making the gap between the working class and the upper class wider and wider?

I hate to think that it is, or what it may lead to…

For all that, the film itself is fairly solid, and I like the look of it. As mentioned it really does feel like all of Blomkamp’s films take place in the same reality, the robots in this one look like Chappie, or at least related in someway to him, and the slums of Los Angeles look a lot like the slums of District 9…

Was this one as strong a film as District 9, no, I liked it to be sure, but would have loved a bit more substance instead of all action. Science fiction movies don’t always have to be about space ships and explosions, there can be some strong thought-provoking stories as well… That being said, I do love the look of the film, the visual effects, and design are all really cool, and I do hope Blomkap’s Alien film does get made, but it doesn’t always have to be battles and action beats, a strong story can go a long way.

Just saying.

TriStar PIctures'' ELYSIUM.



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