September 04, 2013

Haiku Revieu: Elysium

Elysium (****1/2)

Space station is swank
Matt Damon and a bone saw
Murdock's a psycho

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. I wasn't a big fan of District 9, which is the only other Neill Blomkamp-directed movie I've ever seen, so I wasn't totally rushing to see Elysium. On the other hand, District 9 is one of Colt's most favorite movies ever, so he was pretty excited. Because I am a good wife (and the fact that I enjoy Matt Damon and Jodie Foster), we went—and I was quite pleasantly surprised. (Colt thinks I dislike District 9 because the pretty much the entirety of the human race humans in it are TERRIBLE people, and I need at least a few that have redeeming qualities to make me feel hope.)

Elysium is a story about two halves of human society—the rich and the poor—that have become even more disconnected than they are today. The poor live on a broken and ravaged Earth, surviving on what they can find. The rich live in a space station called Elysium that floats in Earth orbit. (There are a lot more poor people than rich ones.) When the rich are sick, they can get into med bays and be immediately cured. When the poor get sick, they must head to a hospital that has a limited supply of resources and extremely overworked physicians. When Max (Matt Damon) gets into an accident at work, his only chance of survival is to get to a med bay on Elysium, but getting there is an extremely difficult proposition.

Blomkamp definitely has a lot to say about humanity and our treatment of each other in his movies, and Elysium is quite a statement movie. The richy riches on Elysium are horrible, and some of the people of Earth aren't much better—but both are products of their environments. The main characters are high quality, however, both the good and the evil. Matt Damon is always great as a tortured hero and the character of Max is part action star, part desperate man. Jodie Foster plays a great villain, but her accent—whatever it was supposed to be—is super distracting. And Sharlto Copley does an amazing job at playing a psychopath. (Maybe a little too good?)

On the whole, I thought the story was smart and interesting, and I really enjoyed it. I got a lot of feels at the end of the movie, though, so do be prepared for that if you go.


  1. I really want to see this because a) the trailers looked really badass and b) I like District 9 A LOT. But I've heard that Elysium almost tried too hard to be smart and could've done a better job. Who knows -shrug-, but I'm hoping I enjoy it as much as I think I will :)

  2. It was a little heavy handed? But I enjoyed it, regardless. I hope you do, too!