D: Neill Blomkamp
Tristar/Alphacore/Media Rights Capital/QED (Neill Blomkamp, Bill Block & Simon Kinberg)
USA/South Africa 🇺🇸 🇿🇦 2013
W: Neill Blomkamp
DP: Trent Opaloch
Ed: Julian Clarke & Lee Smith
Mus: Ryan Amon
PD: Philip Ivey
Matt Damon (Max da Costa), Jodie Foster (Delacourt), Sharlto Copley (Kruger), Alice Braga (Frey Santiago), Diego Luna (Julio), William Fichtner (John Carlyle)
Neill Blomkamp's follow up to District 9 isn't as good as his directorial debut, but that would have been quite an ask, but Elysium is in familiar territory and many of the visuals are alike to the 2009 South African sci-fi movie.
The story itself has been presented before in various forms. Set in a future dystopian society, the Earth has become a wasteland, with the planet's super rich living on a space station utopia called Elysium, run by dictator-esque Jodie Foster. Those who remain on Earth live in slums, working petty jobs while robots police the cities.
Matt Damon plays Max, an ex-criminal doing mundane factory work when he is involved in accident leaving him only 5 days to live. The only chance to heal his injuries is to gain citizenship to Elysium, since that's practically impossible, he is hired by a gang to apprehend the CEO of his company, a citizen of Elysium, and download his memory so that new identities can be forged and passport to the utopian space station can be granted.
Max is pursued by a manic bounty hunter (Sharlto Copley) who seeks to retrieve the information and the chase takes them to Elysium where Damon holds the key for all those left behind on Earth to gain citizenship.
The performances are generally decent, but Jodie Foster (and her ridiculous accent) are very much miscast. Sharlto Copley steals this movie with his wonderfully OTT performance
The visuals, effects and action scenes are second to none and Blomkamp is surely going to have a long career in this genre, but the story was all pretty much been-there-done-that, especially with a near-identically themed In Time being released just a few years ago.
On the whole I wasn't disappointed with this film, it just didn't feel anywhere near as fresh as District 9 and had no real allegorical depths like Blomkamp's breakthrough movie.