Review by Lucía Santiago Dantés.
Written Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Drama, Sci-fi, Action.
Running Time: 109 mins.
In a dystopian future, the earth is overpopulated, polluted and impoverished, it has become a 3rd world planet and somehow Neill Blomkamp finds very suitable to represent poverty with mexicans living in Los Angeles. So, where did the rich people go? They live happily ever after in a space colony called Elysium, The utopian place has everything to live forever young and healthy. The furniture of this luxurious outer space neighborhood includes an automated surgery table that seems to be stolen from the Prometheus ship, Of course Elysium’s is better because this wonder bed not only performs surgery but also heals wounds, eradicate cancer, leukemia and all the maladies from the world but if that’s not enough it can cure even lethal doses of radioactivity. doctors? pfff! that’s so 20th century!
Living in Elysium is like living in la la land most accurated: Beverly Hills. Chilling out by the pool, Martini or champaign in hand and socializing and enjoying this fabulous life seems to be the occupational job at Elysium, or at least for most of the population. Meanwhile back on earth a bunch of spanish spoken people are desperately hacking the system in order to access at least the basic commodities of Elysium but specially the health benefits. It is a good analogy of what it is right now the holy grail for many third world immigrants to get a citizenship in a first world country.
The story focus on Max (Matt Damon) or should I say “the one”? Max grew up dreaming of living in Elysium, but penniless orphans doesn’t have a place in that ship and Delacourt (Jodie Foster) is there to literally crash those dreams to anyone or anything that comes even close to Elysium. After an accident in the robot factory, Max is exposed to massive doses of radiation and he only have 5 days to live. In a desperate effort to save his life, Max allies with the leader of the space smuggler group called Spider (Wagner Moura) in order to access to a health treatment to save his life. Spider wants to steal information from the man who runs the company that created the entire Elysium program and for that he needs Max, who at this point doesn’t have too much time and nothing else to lose.
Sharito Copley returns to work with Director Neill Blomkamp; this time to portray Agent Kruger who acts more like a gunman for Delacourt in order to keep the stablished status quo. Kruger goes full force after Max when he finds out Max has stolen the data to reboot Elysium system from John Carlyle (William Fichtner). While Max is looking to save his life, Delacourt, Kruger and Spider wants to get him in orderto get the data to reboot Elysium and make a new order. Will our hero get to Elysium and save his life?
Like any other director with style, Blomkamp is rewriting the same story all over again. This is not precisely a bad thing, it’s just, his style. It happens with all writer/directors in the world. From Pedro Almodóvar to Hitchcock and they never leave the same line, in Blokamp’s case: scifi. Again like in District 9 we have a slum like ghetto . As in District 9, the protagonist becomes fatally ill and his loss might be his redemption. As in District 9 there’s something out there in space waiting for the protagonist that will be his salvation. In other words in District 9 is the alien’s mothership with a cure for Wikus(Sharito Copley) from morphing into an alien and become human again; while in Elysium is the space colony that has the cure to Max. In District 9 Wikus is exposed to alien’s technology, while in Elysium Max is exposed to radiation. And last but not least just switch illegal aliens from outer space to illegal earth immigrants to outer space and voila!
Despite all the similarities the film works in his own terms as the film is very entertaining a a good piece of sci fi action drama.
Mexican actor Diego Luna, portray’s Max’s friend Julio.