Yesterday, I went to go see Elysium. I’d put this one off for a while, mostly because I haven’t been feeling really smart lately, and I felt like there was going to be some serious thinking involved with this movie, you know, like District 9, which while being a totally awesome movie about aliens and blasters and all that sci-fi goodness, was also a very thought provoking look at xenophobia, immigration, and race relations.
So, here’s the thing, with Elysium. I think that Neill Blomkamp really wanted to say something with this movie. I’m just not sure what it was. Was it about illegal immigration? Or universal healthcare? I’m not sure. I didn’t get it.
Elysium seemed unable to make up it’s mind, whether it wanted to be a thought provoking look at anything, or a movie where two guys in robot suits that fight each other. Now, I have no problem with their being a combination of those two things, if you can make it a combination. I’m reading Orson Scott Card’s Ender Quintet right now. Obviously there are ways that you can do both. But Elysium doesn’t combine the two, it just keeps switching lanes.
The premise is simple enough, when the earth got used up, we left to explore other planets and teraform them…haha, just kidding. But it is staggeringly similar to Firefly. When the earth got overpopulated and polluted, the super rich built a space station to live on, away from the squalor. It’s called Elysium. People still live on Earth, one such person is Max, played by Matt Damon. My love of Matt Damon is such that I once spent two years calling him “my fiance,” but I don’t understand why they gave him this role. For one thing, it’s clear that Max is supposed to be Hispanic. He lives in a run down neighborhood in Los Angeles, his last name is Da Costa and every other character around him is Hispanic. I mean, I love color blind casting probably more than the next person, but this was one of those cases where I found it distracting.
Anyway, Max wants to go to Elysium really badly, and even more so when he has an accident that leaves him only five days to live, since on Elysium they can cure any sickness with a miracle technology called a med bay. Also, it turns out his childhood sweetheart, Frey’s daughter has leukemia, so that doubles his drive.
He makes a deal with a coyote named Spider to steal the data of a CEO in order to get to Elysium. Then things get hinky. Max’s best friend Julio (Diego Luna, ah, how I forgot him), gets shot , and the data that was downloaded into Max’s brain turns out to be far more valuable than previously anticipated.
The plot also involves the Secretary of Defense for Elysium, played by Jodie Foster, trying to overthrow the president because he’s too soft on illegal immigration to the station, or something.
Freaking, something. I don’t know. To me, this whole subplot was where the movie got too full of itself and confusing and couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. Already, Max has a ticking clock, with his 5 days, and an emotional push in Frey’s daughter. Plus he has the ability to override the station. That should be enough, but we’re also thrown a psychotic secret agent played by Sharlto Copely, and, I don’t know, it just all became too much for me.
All in all, I spent most of the movie scratching my head, trying to figure it out.
I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t smart enough for it.
Thor: The Dark World, Captain Phillips, Bad Grandpa, Yes, God Yes, and Please No
The Monuments Men: Chronicling the story of the army unit that’s main mission was to protect the cultural artifacts in World War II. The team is made up of George Clooney, John Goodman, Matt Damon, & Bill Murray. This movie will be a classic.
1. Pacific Rim
2. The Great Gatsby
3. The World’s End
4. Kick Ass 2
5. The Butler
6. Man of Steel
7. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
8. The Wolverine
9. Iron Man 3
10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
11. Despicable Me 2
12. Star Trek Into Darkness
14. Monster’s University
15. After Earth