Conclusion: Although it's far from a great movie, and perhaps a bit too simplistic in its storytelling ambitions (although certainly not in its visuals), 'Elysium' is an enjoyable enough film that wasn't quite as deserving of some of the negative reaction it got from both critics and moviegoers alike. I actually enjoyed this one as a piece of entertainment more than District 9 , which I realize puts me in a pretty big minority.
Excerpt: Elysium, a technological paradise populated by the most privileged among us, is protected by a one-note alpha female (Jodie Foster) with virtually limitless resources… but hot-rodded spaceships routinely crash-land on citizens’ lawns. And despite the miracles of 2154-era science, the palatial homes are then breached with the aid of potted plants as desperate non-citizens scramble to use cure-all healing machines unavailable on the surface.
Excerpt: Sociopolitical issues ignite a blitzkrieg of parables in Elysium , created by dynamically composed capitalism fears in the technology driven year of 2156. Matt Damon hoists up guns to shoot flying Roombas for his “have nots,” in what might be the most American film ever made by a foreign immigrant. Science fiction explicitly divulges our problems under the guise of visual effects and spacey splendor. Our best hide symbolism with a symposium of voices; Elysium has one.
Excerpt: Much like director Neil Blomkamp's debut film, District 9 (2009), sophomore effort Elysium (2013) is anything but an exercise in subtlety. Both present a sci-fi facade that masks heavy undercurrents of timeless social and political commentary, including class warfare and the threat of oppressive authority.
Excerpt: Perfection doesn’t exist. Not in any way, shape or form. I don’t care what you call it: Utopia, Shangri La, Paradise or Elysium – it’ll never happen because we, as humans, won’t allow it. There will always be something, anything that will invariably mess things up. It’s called the human component and it’s just the way we are. More on that later, though. I’m now switching gears back to 2009 when I saw a little movie called District 9 that took the world by storm.
Summary: The problem with utopia is that it never works in the long run, cannot be sustained, can never be "good enough." No matter how great it may be on the inside, no matter how wonderful it may appear from the outside, there will always be some sort of conflict, conflict coming from the outside or conflict coming from the inside. Someone will always want a bite of the forbidden fruit, want more than the utopia has to offer.
Excerpt: In the year 2154 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can.
Excerpt: Elysium begins on a sweet note, with a young boy and girl bonding in the tattered landscape that is Earth in the mid-22nd century. Above them spins the film's eponymous colony, a luxurious haven for the paranoid rich, and the young boy, Max, promises the girl, Frey, that he'll bring her up there one day.
Excerpt: Fans and creators of sci-fi love to talk about the power of the genre being in its ability to use analogy to depict our current, using its fantastic backdrop to push modern mores and conventional wisdom to extremes in order to test how accurate or worthwhile they really are. When done well it does work, but the problem with a message built on going to extremes is that extremes are very hard to make believable and very easy to get away from a storyteller for just that...