Neil Blomkamp’s first introduction to the world, District 9, was an example of a “what if” scenario. Blomkamp’s ideas were turned into a movie that at first glance seemed like it was about aliens, but then these turned into a mirror of ourselves as we watch our own treatment of the visiting race.

Neil Blomkamp’s first introduction to the world, District 9, was an example of a “what if” scenario. Blomkamp’s ideas were turned into a movie that at first glance seemed like it was about aliens, but then these turned into a mirror of ourselves as we watch our own treatment of the visiting race.

Elysium, takes a similar look at the human condition, however, the aliens in this film, are the impoverished people of Earth.

In the year 2154, Earth has been reduced to an overpopulated rock, with streets littered with garbage, and limitless hordes of low-wage income earners filling factories that create machines that, in turn, manage the very people who work in the factories. Everyone is managed by a stone-faced robot and any emotional uprising is handled either through robotics, or medicine.

What happened to the rich? They built themselves a space station that orbits the Earth. When their perfect utopia is vulnerable to attack, the citizens of Elysium are protected by the efficient Defense Minister played by Jodie Foster. Blomkamp’s vision created a plausible future world that is uncompromising, as it is bleak.

Matt Damon falls victim to a fatal accident at his factory, and seizes a last ditch opportunity to heal himself, while restoring balance between the two worlds in the process. Out to stop him, is a sadistic mercenary, maniacally played by a pitch perfect Sharlto Copley; a constant sight in Blomkamp’s films.

Direction from Blomkamp is top-notch, and the scenes in between action shots keep the tension tight. Another superlative found is the excellent special effects that become an integral part of the cast. The commentary never weighs down the film through an excellent mix of visuals and exposition, and never feels too heavy-handed.

Elysium is an excellent film from all angles, definitely not one to be missed, and possibly the greatest movie this summer.

Running time: 1hr 49min; Rating: R

 

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