"Elysium" Movie Review: 3 Stars
by Michael Phillips
Viewed from an aerial narrative perspective, writer-director
With most films, that'd be enough to cut out half the potential American audience. But effective, evocative science fiction, which "Elysium" is, has a way of getting by with an ILA (Insidious Liberal Agenda) in the guise of worst-case dystopia.
Loaded with action, a lot of it excitingly imagined, "Elysium" boasts many of the teeming strengths of South African filmmaker Blomkamp's previous R-rated sci-fi success, "District 9" (2009), which replayed a host of immigration and apartheid themes with humans and aliens. This time we're in a world photographed mostly in and around
On Elysium, everything from a broken wrist to cancer can be cured by a quick lie-down in the home-installed "med bay." On Elysium, the fearsome defense secretary, in cahoots with EPI (Evil Private Industry, personified by
After Max suffers the life-threatening radiation blast in an industrial accident, he joins forces with an underground revolutionary (Wagner Moura) intent on kidnapping Elysium's CEO. In exchange, Max receives his sole hope for survival: a free ride on an illegal flight to the promised land, where he can be cured in a near-instant.
Start to finish, "Elysium" puts its main man through the mill. With only days to live, Max must fend off attacks from a psychotic mercenary recently let go from Elysium's payroll. He's played by Sharlto Copley, the feverish overactor who starred in "District 9."
Damon has an awfully good nose for material; even when "Elysium" grows allegorically simplistic or familiar, the script avoids pounding cliche, and Blomkamp and his design and effects teams give us a plausibly harsh idea of things to come.
Some things are fun, such as the bubblelike opaque cocoons designed to keep 22nd-century bullets from doing any harm. Other things decidedly are not fun, such as the artful panoramic vistas revealing just how lousy a life we'll be inheriting in the year 2154.
"Elysium" Movie Trailer
In 2154, two classes of people exist: the wealthy, who live on a space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on a ruined Earth. The people of Earth are desperate to escape, but some in Elysium will stop at nothing to preserve their lifestyle
MPAA rating: R (for strong bloody violence and language throughout).
Running time: 1:49.
Credits: Written and directed by
Article: Copyright © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
- "The Family" Movie Review
- "Prisoners" Movie Review
- "Battle of the Year" Movie Review
- "Insidious: Chapter 2" Movie Review
- "Closed Circuit" Movie Review
- "Getaway" Movie Review
- "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" Movie Review
- "One Direction: This Is Us" Movie Review
- "The World's End" Movie Review
- "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" Movie Review
- "Drinking Buddies" Movie Review
- "The Butler"
- "Kick-Ass 2"
- "The Canyons"
- 'Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters'
- 'We're the Millers'
- '2 Guns'
- 'Blue Jasmine'
- 'The Smurfs 2'
- 'The Wolverine'
- 'The To-Do List'
- Family Movie Night: Best 15 Movies of All Time
- 'The Conjuring'
- 'Fruitvale Station'
- 'RED 2'
- 'Only God Forgives'
- 'Girl Most Likely'
- 'Pacific Rim'
- 'Grown Ups 2'
- 'The Wall'
- 'Despicable Me 2'
- 'The Lone Ranger'
- 'Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain'
- 'White House Down' Movie Review
- 'Monsters University'
- 'World War Z'
- 'Much Ado About Nothing'