“Elysium (2013)” Review

This is Neil Blomkamp’s first film after the acclaimed first-contact apartheid allegory District 9.

Why did I watch it?

Two people, with excellent taste in cinema, separately recommended Elysium to me.

Did it meet expectations?

District 9 set the bar high. Elysium manages to establish a convincingly bleak 2154 Los Angeles (105 years on from the latest Blade Runner…) with Amazon Warehouse working conditions and refugee crises, but no healthcare… Matt Damon, who manages to be in almost everything (and that’s a good thing) is a worker who dreams of getting off-world to the ultimate gated community in orbit. Jodie Foster gives an enjoyable turn as the ruthless politician defending Elysium from immigrants. For the first hour it’s unsubtle but effective satire and compelling world building, but it descends into a disappointingly generic gun-battle followed by a rather perfunctory resolution.

You should watch it if…

  • You enjoy visually spectacular and vividly gritty futurism

You shouldn’t watch it if…

  • You think style can never compensate for substance

Next up: The Dark Knight (2008). Probably.

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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