Written August 20, 2013
First I'll review the surface movie which everyone will see. It's a typical special effects heavy actioneer with the usual excellent effects we've come to expect from Ridley Scott. It's fast paced and Matt Damon does his part to keep the movie pretty much focused and gives it what little character developement it has since none of the charactrs is very deeply drawn. The pace is so quick that even the somewhat lengthy prologue about his early life doeslittl o she any light on his present circumstances. The role of his major female protagonist is played by Jodi Foster who affects a strage accent that I could not place besides which she doesn't evidently reflect the true feelings of the actual residents of "Elysium" as she is portrayed as a somewhat rabid anti-illegal alien supporter. She must be the token nasty Republican. If you go to see it as entertainment it will not let you down. The character who spends the last half of the movie trying to kill Damon is almost worth the price .
Written August 01, 2014
Elysium isn't as funny and weird as District 13 was but for a Hollywood blockbuster it's unusually brainy--and not in a Prometheus sense where the movie never works as a popcorn flick because it's too smart for its own good. Elysium is plenty exciting, with lots of action to go with its not very subtle political message that will undoubtedly have some on the right foaming at the mouth about left wing propaganda. Jodie Foster's character is basically a stand-in for those on the right who think that the poor are poor because they deserve to be, out of laziness or genetic inferiority, and that any attempt to help the poor at the expense of the obscenely rich is socialism and un-American to the core. Unfortunately the script and characters aren't strong enough to make Elysium a great film--it's more of an entertaining and thoughtful B movie with an A movie budget.
Written August 26, 2014
This movie would have been so much better if the subject matter had been handled more subtley. It was just too heavy handed and preachy to be effective as an allegory. But some parts were really fun, I particularly enjoyed the secondary villain, Krueger. But yeah, way too preachy to be completely enjoyable, or plausible- even for a sci-fi.
Written August 12, 2013
A thin film, with a role-play-game set up via titling on screen. I thought a rule book might follow, though anyone who has seen Johnny Mnemonic or Strange Days would at least have experience. The thing meant to make us care, the relationship between the Max and his childhood sweetheart, is served cold; it's a romance with no romance. The actress, Alice Braga, acts like a converted pop singer making her first film. The hacker mumbo-jumbo, which one has come to expect in pictures like these, goes to new extremes of silliness. Spider needs all of two seconds to figure out the stolen code, even though only one citizen of Elysium could have written it. Did he put a summary in there for revolutionaries? And in the e-version of the giant EMERGENCY button in the engine room, he needs only retype "illegal" as "legal" to sign up the whole world for free medical treatment. There is one great moment and one great line: "What's in it for the hippo?" What's in it for you? Not much.
Written November 29, 2013
Interesting, intense... though not one I'd necessarily want to see again. Thought the exo-skeleton technology was intriguing. Had a challenge feeling engaged by Jody Foster's portrayal of her character... perhaps intended. Spider was a compelling and interesting character, loved the way Wagner Moura played him.