|Neill Blomkamp's ELYSIUM, starring Matt Damon|
Science-fiction is a genre you almost certainly always have to take with a sizable grain of salt. If not, then we should all be outraged at not having flying cars and robot butlers – or in Elysium’s case, personal cure-all medical tubes. Unfortunately, we do not and will not for the foreseeable future.
|Where is my Rosie?|
Whoops, wrong movie and wrong "Elysium"
Back on Earth, a ripped, bald-headed, and tatted up Matt Damon stars as Max, a criminal turned reluctant factory worker. He lives in the crowded, multi-racial slum that is Los Angeles coated with a permanent cloud of dust, graffiti, and trash – an extremely similar destitute setting as District 9’s Johannesburg (minus the aliens).
|Interesting fact: Eminem was first considered for Damon's role in ELYSIUM|
To do this, he reintegrates himself into the local crime syndicate/lower-class rebellion and with its leader, a spastic hacker named Spider. Weakened by the radiation, he is affixed to a robotic exoskeleton that might make Doc Ock jealous, with a built-in computer and USB port directly to his brain. If Max is able to complete one big job for Spider, then he gets a free ride to Elysium on a renegade transport and a chance to save himself.
|And you thought today's politicians were ruthless . . .|
|Maybe Spike Lee's OLDBOY remake won't suck after all|
|"I always thought Matt Damon was kind of a Streisand, but he's rocking the shit in this one." - The 40-Year Old Virgin|
|"I am a woman and my child is sick" = her entire character|
Though flawed, Elysium is still an exciting and fun movie to watch. And perhaps too much is unfairly expected of Blomkamp after his surprising debut film. While perhaps not as good overall as District 9, Elysium is still far better than most sci-fi action films, especially this year (After Earth, Oblivion, etc.).
* * * ½ out of 5 stars
This review and others are also available on my examiner.com page, here.