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Friday, January 3, 2014

Saturday Movies: Elysium (2013)

Following in the footsteps of District 9, director, Neill Blomkamp, brings another bleak, but struggle to find humanity in Elysium. Some of the same actors appear again, but this time in reverse roles, and Matt Damon stars in one of his stronger roles of late. With the popularity of Dystopian movies of late, it seems that Elysium is hitting at just the right time. Hunger Games would follow later last year, and Oblivion was one released prior that year.

Summary: It's the year 2154, and the wealthy inhabitants of earth now reside in a spaceship above earth away from the violence and illness that now runs rampant on earth. As kids, Max and Frey dreamed of being able to live there one day, but to live there you have to have the ability to prove membership with a symbol on your arm. Years later Max's life has turned out quite differently, but when he finds himself dying he is desperate to get to the spaceship so that he use one of their machines to heal himself. A man, Spider, is willing to help him get there if he takes on a mission to help bring the two worlds together.


Acting: The acting is really great from the cast, and if it wasn't for the cast the movie might not be as good as it was. Matt Damon stars as Max, and it feels like with this role Damon steps out and does something a bit different. Like most Damon roles he struggles too much with not making the character feel dark enough, and he still feels like the good boy at the end. It works for him. Jodie Foster is the guardian of the new world that resides on the spaceship, and Foster really does make the role interesting, but something felt forced about the whole demeanor of the woman, Delacourt, that she was portraying. The voice was just very over done making her come off stiff. Alice Braga is Frey, and gets us to caring about her character more than anyone, and plays the role of a mother trying to save her daughter very well. The huge highlight of the of the movie though is Sharlto Copley as the villain, Kruger. The guy does what every other person in the movie should have been doing, and that is making him complex and disturbed that you're wondering if the guy has just gone crazy, and used to be good, or if he's just evil. He gives a chilling performance that was crazy to watch.

Filming: The movie does utilize the shaky camera thing, but instead of Blomkamp making it feel like it is in documentary use as he did District 9, it seems to just be a style he wants to utilize to define him. To be honest it never distracted from the movie that much for me, and unlike a lot of movies I see it in I thought it added to the movie. The effects blend better, and it does give the movie a lot more intensity. This movie is a lot more gritty looking than say Oblivion though, which utilized a much more sleek, pretty appearance.

Plot: The plot is good, and it gets you to caring about the characters. It was compelling to watch these people battle to have the same enjoyments as others. A lot will not like the political propaganda in the movie though, and it is quite heavy. Despite that though I was able to look past that, and just enjoy the movie for the story. There isn't really much to the story though, and it's fairly simple to follow.

Elysium was a movie I had heard positive things about it, but I thankfully didn't discover the problems people had with it till afterward. If you treat it just as entertainment the movie is enjoyable with a lot of action sequences, some interesting characters, and an intriguing story. If you want to delve into all the deeper ideas of it then you might get disappointed depending on which side of the fence you fall on considering the ideas presented.

Rating 8 of 10.


Elysium (2013) on IMDb

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