Elysium: Review

Image from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535108/
District 9, Neil Blomkamps debut picture is a film I have a lot of love for. It’s originality and story telling has had me eagerly awaiting Blomkamps follow up, Elysium.
It takes place in the near future where earth has become riddled with disease and poverty to the point where the rich have taken refuge in Elysium, a Hollywood hills type habitat which floats in space, taunting the people stuck on earth. 
After an accident at a factory, Max, played by Matt Damon is given only five days to live and sets out on a mission to get to Elysium and heal himself before it’s too late.
I didn’t have the same reaction to Elysium as I did District 9 but still thoroughly enjoyed it. 

My main issue with the film is the first forty minutes or so which I think struggles to set up the relationship between the characters and the impending conflict. That and the films lack luster score loses Elysium some points but not too many.

Fortunately it’s saved by an excellent last half which is one of the most exciting I’ve seen so far this year. Once the action starts and the stakes are raised I found myself 100% invested in the characters and the story.

Matt Damon is excellent as the borderline anti-hero Max and kicks a lot of ass to the point where I find myself praying to the film gods that one day he’ll return to Jason Bourne.

Jodie Foster gets top billing as the films main villain and she does okay with what she’s given. Her performance is completely overshadowed by Sharlto Copley though who puts in an insane performance as Kruger, the asset put in charge of taking down Max.

His character is truly twisted, the most memorable part of Elysium and his performance is my favourite of the year so far in film.

Director Neill Blomkamp proves once again that he’s a film maker with bags of talent and the action is shot with confidence. Not only this but there are moments toward the end of the film which are stunning to watch. Despite my minor issues with the films opening, it’s quite clear he’s a great story teller too and I genuinely look forward to seeing how his career progresses.

Overall I have very minor issues with Elysium, ones which I can see getting smaller with each viewing. As far as summer blockbusters go, this is packed with originality and is a great addition to the sci-fi genre. With a stand out villain, plenty of excitement and a dark humour running throughout, Elysium is well worth a watch this bank holiday weekend.


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