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Film Review – Elysium

Director: Neil Blomkamp
Screenplay: Neil Blomkamp
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Sharlto Copely
Genre: Sci-Fi Action Drama
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall, Cine 2

The year is 2154. Los Angles is not the clean, sunny suburban area it is known for but is a slum. Two classes of people exist: the poor who live in the dusty slums of an overpopulated and disease stricken earth, and the rich who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium. The only thing that the two places have in common is the robot cops and military forces that make sure that no one breaks the law. Max (Matt Damon) is a factory worker with a criminal record and lives his life in search of a brighter future and a life where his past does not affect his present or future. One day he gets stuck in a factory work area and gets exposed to radiation which leads to him getting fired and having less than a week to live. As his body slowly begins to disintegrate he enlists the help of computer genius and conman Spider (Wagner Moura). With the aid of Spider’s henchmen, they manage to hijack a space shuttle carrying John Carlyle (William Fichtner) Secretary Rhodes, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can.
The talent in this movie is exceptional, the chemistry between the actors is brilliant. There is the provocative,insensitive jerk Kruger (Sharlto Copley) who has no regard for anyone except for himself, the mad scientist Spider and let’s not forget the handsome Matt Damon. Kruger is the cherry on the cake even if I must say so. He delivered what to me is one of the best portrayals of a sociopath, he is funny, here and there signing and making jokes in Afrikaans. We get good action scenes with a good flow to them. Beautiful and very believable kicks, shoot-outs and fight scenes and a magnificent scenery on the Elysium space station. Kudos to Blomkamp on both the storyline and the Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). After his blockbuster, District 9, outdoing that movie’s incredible success was a hard challenge but Blomkamp has now convinced me he may just be the next generation Spielberg. The only bad things about this film is  its striking likeness to ‘District 9’. You can not help but feel that you are watching the same film over again. This is probably because both films were shot in South Africa. Another let-down is the fact that we don’t get to see any other Elysium residents except for Secretary Rhodes, President Patel and Carlyle. However that does not stop it from being interesting, you are thoroughly entertained throughout the entire film. More than that, Elysium does not only entertain you, it evokes feelings and questions making you wonder if there really is a world out there that is for the extremely wealthy and if we who are still on earth with all its problems, pollution, incurable diseases, etc. have been left to rot and die. I am not giving Elysium five stars because I am in a generous mood or because it stars one of my favourite actors, but because it really is a five star movie. A must watch.

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