Friday, 20 September 2013
After the long run of 'end of the world' type movies this summer (Oblivion, After Earth and Pacific Rim to name but a few), I saw the trailer for Elysium and wasn't immediately inspired. But I decided to see it anyway after hearing from my friends that it was a decent movie.
The year is 2154. People live in harmony and technology has evolved enough to eradicate life threatening diseases. But only if you're rich enough to live on Elysium, a second man-made earth that sits in space, just beyond earth's atmosphere. Those on earth who were not rich enough to take the shuttle to Elysium were left with an overpopulated planet, and have only a short life of hard work in front of them. One such unlucky sole is Max (Matt Damon), who as a boy did not have an easy upbringing. His only friend at this time was Frey but they were soon separated. Following an accident at the factory where Max works, he is exposed to harmful radiation which will kill him in 5 days, meaning he has to get to Elysium at all costs. Unbeknownst to Max, Elysium has a hard hitting Secretary of Defence (Jodie Foster) who will do almost anything to keep refugees from earth from entering their peaceful haven. This includes hiring a savage mercenary (Sharlto Copley) to take down those who attempt to get to Elysium.
Despite my initial trepidation at the subject matter I found myself really drawn into Elysium. I have no doubt that this was mainly due to the calibre of the actors involved. Damon's performance is believable, and he really does make you feel for Max and the hand he has been dealt in life. Similarly, Sharlto Copley's performance as the mercenary, Kruger, is quite terrifying. His unwavering determination to get the job done makes his character brutal and quite similar to a Terminator in the later scenes. The only fault I really have with the cast here is Jodie Foster, who seems mis-cast as the cold, calculating Delacourt. I'm also convinced she was dubbed throughout the whole film as her dialogue never seemed to be in sync with her mouth.
The direction could have been better and the effects are not always great but the story is solid, and the actors (for the most part) do a great job of portraying their characters. It's also quite a different 'end of the world' story if you're kinda sick to the back teeth of those types of films this year. Not necessarily one that has to be seen on the big screen, but not a bad movie for a DVD night. 6.5 out of 10.
Viewing Date - 29th August 2013
UK Release Date - 21st August 2013
Max ~ Matt Damon
Delacourt ~ Jodie Foster
Kruger ~ Sharlto Copley
Frey ~ Alice Braga
Julio ~ Diego Luna
Spider ~ Wagner Moura
John Carlyle ~ William Fichtner
Director/Writer ~ Neill Blomkamp