Opening in theaters this Friday from director Neil Blomkamp and Sony Pictures is the story of a place everyone wants to go with ELYSIUM.

This film tells the story of Max (Matt Damon), growing up in an orphanage he ends up being a bad boy who did time. Now, trying to keep his nose to the grindstone he’s given up stealing cars for making robots that serve on the space station Elysium. He runs into Frey (Alice Braga), a young woman who once, as a young girl, was everything to Max.

Elysium is where the wealthy live while the poor – don’t. On Elysium there is blue sky, warm weather, pools and medical care that is superior. All of this made avaliable to its citizens. Those on Earth want it as well but the only way is by landing there illegally, which can end their life.

Watching every movement is Delacourt (Jodie Foster), a tough as nails protector of Elysium. Using her own inside man, Kruger (Sharlto Copley), she can control the illegal entrance at all times. But she wants more! Working with John Carlyle (William Fichtner), the plan is put together to put Delacourt in charge.

While working at the plant, Max is accidentally exposed to a lethal dose of radiation and has five days to live. With the helps of Julio (Diego Luna), they go to Spider (Wagner Moura), a man who wants to make every person legal. He gives Max a chance to work for his ticket to a cure.

The mission is deadly as Delacourt, Kruger and Elysium itself will do anything to stop him!

FINAL WORD: Damon as Max is fine. He does his job and he gets to do it with a lot of metal hanging off him. I didn’t care much for the fight scenes between Max and Kruger because I couldn’t see who was doing what to who, yea, happens with dust blowing everywhere or mashed up camera work. You make a good average joe hero Mr. Damon.

Braga is also fine as Frey. Her character story is full of holes as well. There isn’t much feeling here so I’m not sure if she likes Max or is just politely indifferent to his whole situation.

Fichtner, if trying to also be an uncaring carbon based unit, pulled the role off beautifully. There is a straight forwardness about this actor that I’ve always liked. Interestingly enough I was watching CONTACT just last night and there is Fichtner and Foster together fighting for the same team – and in ELYSIUM its not different. Well done you two!

Luna doesn’t have much of a role here either other than remind Max that he’s white on a regular basis. Moura as Spider who has a bad leg begs the question ‘why in all the trips to Elysium did he never go fix that leg?’ Yea, its weird stuff like that that bug me and it came into play later in the film.

My absolutely awesome roles go to Foster and Copley. Lets start with Foster. If anyone saw INSIDE MAN you’ll know what I’m saying here. In that film her role as Madeline White was absolute spot on nasty but elegantly cloaked in designer clothes and good manners. In ELYSIUM as Delacourt we get to see it again but on a larger scale. Good tailoring, great change in speech and an edge in her eye that says ‘don’t mess with me’ I have got to give Foster props on this one.

Copley is just Copley and for me that says a lot. First seeing him in DISTRICT 9 I watched him go from dork to hero like a dork should become a hero! It was pure brilliance and I’ve watched it several times just to relive that performance. Then he does A-TEAM as Murdock and as much as I despise remakes, I fell for his performance laughing because it was smart and sassy. I have yet to see EUROPA REPORT but I’m quite sure I’ll be raving about him again. Here he gets to go all mad dog crazy and he nails it. It becomes quite clear early on that you can’t reason with mad dog crazy but its fun to watch the results of anyone that tries.

Other cast: Brandon Auret as Drake, Josh Blacker as Crowe, Emma Tremblay as Matilda, Jose Cantillo as Sandro, Faran Tahir as President Patel, Adrian Holmes as Manuel, Jared Keeso as Rico and Maxwell Cotton as Young Max.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ELYSIUM three tubs of popcorn out of five. I’m actually being quite generous, especially when you read what I have to say below. There is action and lots of butt kicking. The cinematography was hideous, the story had huge holes, couldn’t understand half the cast but when Foster and Copley are on the screen I’m diggin it!

Honestly I don’t know what Blomkamp was trying to say. Is it immigration reform? If so from Johannesburg or from Los Angeles because it sure did look like DISTRICT 9 at times. If it’s Los Angeles why wasn’t the main character Hispanic since all the other characters in your Los Angeles were Hispanic? Is it to prove that there needs to be universal health care or just reform or just give it away like Halloween candy? If so do we have to revolt to get a chance at the machines? Are you suggesting only white people get good health care because if so Mr. Blomkamp you and I need to have a talk.

Are you suggesting that only one person can possibly overthrow the government inside their ipad? If so does he look like Fichtner because no one else of color could possibly be that smart or are all white people elitists? I’m just asking.

Even in 2154 I find it highly unlikely that a blonde haired blue-eyed boy would be in an orphanage in Mexico ya’ feelin’ me Neil? There was no story saying why he was there in the first place? Don’t answer with ‘why can’t a white kid be in an orphanage in Mexico’ because my answer will be because no one will buy that story? There is just so much here I don’t get but then again I wasn’t meant to I think.

Personally all this frustration probably exists because instead of putting out this film you could have just done DISTRICT 10 and had your fans going nuts. I mean you already had Sharlto (because seriously he’s long overdue to be changed back), crappy scenery, space ships and all kinds of tinker toys! Why not put Matt Damon in that film?

Yes, yes, yes, I know, you don’t care. I had high hopes for a bang to the end of my summer and once again all hope was dashed but not LONE RANGER type dashed. Gawd lets hope Copley, Damon and Blomkamp don’t go on a ‘critic ruined us’ rampage . Okay, I’m done.

In the end – apparently it’s better up there!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.

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