Even today, over population and disease plague the human race. In the movie Elysium the year is 2154 and these problems are exponentially greater. To escape a world full of hardship, the future’s elite class has created a new home with the habitat Elysium, a utopian space station. There is no disease or masses of poor people scattered everywhere, it is perfection in motion. Every day citizens of Earth try to escape to Elysium in hopes of living a better life and to have all their ailments cured by Med- Pods. Med-Pods are bed like contraptions that with a simple scan of the body can cure any problem, including death. Anti-immigration laws are strictly enforced. Immigrants are lucky to get sent back to Earth when so many others end up dead. Max is a citizen of Earth who has dreamed all his life of going to Elysium. An orphan, Max has spent most of his life in prison and is now on parole. He lives in the ruins of Los Angeles and works in a factory that produces androids. He is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation at work and is given only five days to live. His only hope for living is to somehow get to Elysium and use a Med-Pod. Max is approached by one of his former partners in crime to take on a mission that could not only save his life, but the lives of many others and bring equality between the two polar opposite societies. With nothing to lose, Max accepts the offer and then embarks on an ambitious plan to get him to Elysium.
Directed and co-written by Neill Blomkamp, who is known for directing the film District 9, Elysium is a science fiction thriller that really keeps you on your toes. It cleverly addresses sociological and political issues that the world faces even today. Blomkamp creates two different worlds, one vastly different from the other. The ruins on Earth are dusty, dingy, and tattered; a place of squalor and poverty that is slowly deteriorating. On the other hand, Elysium is clean, vibrant, and full of clean edges. Lush and rich in its opulence, it is a utopia that anyone would want to live in. Elysium is a commentary of what this world truly might face if pollution and poverty are allowed to run rampant. This movie has an ingenious story that has all the ingredients of a real science fiction classic. The juxtaposition of the two worlds and class levels are strategically done and does well to show the differences between the two worlds. The special effects for this movie are quite superior to many of the science fiction movies of the day. Not only does Blomkamp have to construct one setting for this story, but he has to build two that are so vastly different from each other.
Elysium is not only visually stunning it is also stimulating to the mind. The story is fresh and inventive, a solid tale that is first-rate and intriguing. Matt Damon is quite capable in portraying Max, the orphan and ex-con from Earth that finds himself with only days to live and desperate to find a way to Elysium to save his life. He brings his confidence and strength to the part and practically carries the movie. Jodie Foster plays Secretary Delacourt who acts as the guardian of Elysium who strictly even cruelly enforces anti-immigration laws to preserve the habitat of Elysium. She does not seem especially right for this part, and her accent can be a bit annoying, but she gives it her best to appear as a snobbish and high-class citizen of Elysium. Every science fiction movie needs a good villain and this part is expertly played by the very professional Sharlto Copley who plays Kruger, an agent of Delacourt who, uses any means necessary in carrying out her orders. He is a vicious and demented character who almost steals the show from Damon. The scenes between Damon and Copely are sharp and prove that the two are forces to be reckoned with. There is no limit to what Elysium will do to prevent it from becoming the dystopia of Earth. A thinking man’s thriller, Elysium is a must see for Blomkamp and Damon fans; altogether, it is a brainy film that addresses the themes of society and its downfall. It keeps you thinking even after the credits roll.