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: 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.
Conclusion: Elysium isn't so dissimilar from Upside Down , another recent picture depicting two distinct classes of people living in proximity to one another and separated not by artificial boundaries but rather the real dividing line of gravity and the more artificial division of wealth and privilege.
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: It’s impossible to talk about Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium without first talking about District 9 . In 2009 the South African writer/director made his debut with the small-budget science-fiction movie and completely shocked the world with beautiful mix of parable and genre filmmaking. The title earned near–universal praise, and wound up receiving four Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.
Conclusion: Not perfect, but a much more satisfying Earth-in-ruins film than Oblivion or After Earth. It is a little more conventional than District 9 (what isn’t?), but confirms Blomkamp as one of the potential science-fiction greats of this decade.
Summary: Writer/director Neill Blomkamp's 2009 feature debut District 9 received a lot of acclaim for being a sci-fi action thriller with strong political undercurrents. The initial word on his greatly-anticipated follow-up Elysium has been that the sci-fi and action elements are present, but the metaphorical power is lacking. In this reviewer's opinion, it wasn't the allegorical aspects that made District 9 sing, it was the fact that you cared about the characters.