Elysium (2013) Miller Meter—9/10

Directed By:  Neil Blomkamp

Written By:  Neil Blomkamp

Starring:  Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga

R     1 h 49 min – Action | Drama | Sci-Fi

 

If you’re a science fiction nerd like me, then welcome to a dream come true.  The film stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga and Diego Luna.  The year is 2154 and Earth is a wasteland, overpopulated and heavily degraded.  The citizens of Earth are looked down upon by the population of Elysium-a space station/habitat occupied and operated by the upper echelon of society where death, disease and crime are nonexistent.  Max (Damon) is one citizen of Earth who’s dreamed of migrating to Elysium since childhood.  His dream suddenly becomes a forced reality when he is exposed to enough radiation on the job to warrant death within five days…unless he gets up to Elysium to heal himself (They’ve got nifty gizmos that resemble a tanning bead that can fix anything your body’s got going on).  He journeys through the underground of Earth with his buddy Julio (Luna) trying everything and anything he can to make his way up there.  The situation becomes even more desperate when his life-long sweetheart Frey (Braga) presents him with yet another challenge…getting her daughter who’s terminally ill up there with him.  Elysium is pretty heavily fortified with a cutthroat female powerhouse named Delacourt (Foster) behind the stations security.  Throw an agent of their security named Kruger (Copley) into the mix and you’ve got some pretty powerful conflict from the antagonists.  Blomkamp’s background in special effects really shines through; from start to finish the film’s effects are absolutely mind blowing.  His vision of the future (though pretty pessimistic) is portrayed in a way that’s not just believable but it’s done so well that you ALMOST wish it was real….so long as you make it to Elysium of course.  The cinematography was stellar, a masterpiece aesthetically.  Matt Damon really steals the show.  His performance was electrifying, taking this gem of a script and gives it as much power as it truly deserves.  My ONLY gripe with the film is that I would have loved more of Elysium.  I wanted to know how it worked, how these people lived etc.  But giving us the story from the vantage point of an Earth born citizen gives it the emotional charge to keep us rooting for Max to get there and tear shit up.  This film accomplished what science fiction hasn’t done in a long time…so it gets a 9 on the Meter.  Let’s just hope Blomkamp doesn’t slow down, because he’s on a winning streak right now for sure, I can’t wait for what’s next!

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