After greatly appriciating Neill Blomkamp’s debut feature film District 9 (2009) I was looking forward to another exciting romp through the neverlands of the future with his latest feature film, and I was not disappointed.
It's the year 2154. The earth is over populated and polluted. The very rich and powerful live above earth on an idyllic man made space station called Elysium. While the privileged are residing in comfort, good health and tranquil surrounding Earths population are living in derelict shantytowns, most have no jobs, except those who work in nuclear factories, food and adequate drinking water are scarce. Crime is the norm and the population is brutally controlled by armed robots.
Max Da Costa (Mat Damon) an ex car thief and parolee works on the assembly line for the company that built Elysium. Max has always maintained that when he has enough money he would transport his childhood sweetheart Frey to the luxury community above the earth. But while he working, there's an accident and he receives a lethal dose of radiation leaving him with only 5 days to live. A deal is struck with local smuggler Spider for Max to get to Elysium in exchange for transferring the stations constitutional data to his own brain. Once there he can cure himself of the radiation sickness and if he takes Frey and her leukaemia stricken daughter all will be well.
Meanwhile on the space station it's chief security officer Delacourt (a real hard nosed Jodie Foster) is plotting to take control and reinforces her border controls with the help of the gruesome Kruger (Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley) and his crew.
I really loved the noise and the power of Elysium (2013), It ticked all my boxes, the cinematography, the GC effects, the acting was all first rate. Some sections of the movie reminded me of the later parts of Coppola's masterpiece Apocalypse Now (1979) with its hell like visions. The movie straddles the gulf between a socio political drama involving the criminal unfairness of the worlds healthcare system and a straightforward action packed sci-fi movie, it proved convincing in both camps. The difference between rich and poor is made very obvious, how the non-privileged class are deliberately kept down for the benefit of the rich. Similar to Blomkamp’s previous feature film deals with segregation but this time it’s financial. He said in an interview he believes the increase in population and decrease in resources means the whole planet will become one big Johannesburg of fortified communities nestling next to slums: will he be proved right?
Anyway it is nice to see our own countries leader getting a cameo as an android parole officer!