I’m the one doing this particular movie review because I’m the one who actually had the money to pay for an overpriced movie ticket in Bali. And also because I’ve seen District 9 and loved it. I also loved this piece of art, although District 9 was a bit better.
TL;DR: A great sci-fi movie that lacks in story, but still better than your average sci-fi movie.
In the year 2154, Earth has fallen into rubble. Society is divided into 2 classes: the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor. The wealthy live in a space station orbiting Earth, called Elysium. Go look up “Elysium” in a dictionary and you’ll know why the space station is called Elysium. Meanwhile, those who cannot afford to live on Elysium stay on Earth living like rats. Max (Matt Damon) is your everyday Earth thug, who has had a dream since boyhood to travel to Elysium. After being exposed to a deadly amount of radiation, he embarks on a perilous journey to Elysium. On his way, he uncovers secrets that could shake the balance of society, both Earth and Elysium.
Basically speaking, its about a dying thug who tries to get medication on Elysium. On Elysium, people can never get sick because of the advanced med bays that can cure any disease known to man (including cancer!)
As a sci-fi fan, I adored the stunning visuals of the movie. Since I like gore, I laughed like a homicidal maniac when I saw body parts get blown up and torn to pieces, like when Kruger took a grenade to the face. They really showed the disparity between Elysium and Earth. Elysium was your perfect living place, kinda like those celebrity homes you see on the cover of magazines, while Earth was literally hell. Polluted, disease-ridden, and just downright dirty.
Besides the visuals, the action was quite good. The exoskeletons were a nice touch and the fighting was just great. But during chases, there’s the annoying shaky cam, which just kinda ruins the action.
The movie clearly lacked in the storytelling department. The story had no big impact on me whatsoever, especially the ending, which was overly simplistic and predictable. The story itself had little complexity. And did I mention that some flashbacks were really unnecessary? Unlike District 9‘s protagonist, Max doesn’t actually learn something new or experiences a paradigm shift as he progresses, and neither does the other characters, which clearly lessens that “post-great-movie impact” you have after watching this.
Overall, Elysium is a terrific movie. There’s action and a lot of science fiction fun for the geeks. Though the story and characters are simple, only a really smart person can grasp the essence behind the movie. Oh, and there are some disturbing scenes in the movie, just a friendly warning.