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Review Elysium (2013): Big on action and spectacle!

genre: science fiction, action

Neill Blomkamp's District 9 was fresh, promising and delivered when I wasn't expecting it to deliver. It had thrills, action, drama, comedy and social criticism. The story lend itself to be told in the manner he chose. And it was a sign of brilliance. Elysium has the same elements of District 9 only with the focus much more on the visuals and the action. The social criticism is still there only now it only serves as motivation for main character Max played by Matt Damon to go from one event to another. And this was perfectly fine with me. Because the action was top notch and the visuals were gorgeous. The action scenes were filmed in a way that seemed to combine many different special effects and made it looked fresh and exciting. I enjoyed seeing people getting blown to pieces. It was so deliciously violent and gory. As it should be since guns and rifles even if they are imaginary ones should be shown as the destructive weapons they are in stead of the political correct ones of which the impression exist that they are harmless.  It was nice to see exoskeletons as well. Only I personally would have wanted an explanation why such contraptions weren't used by more people. Was it because it had side effects? Or was it too expensive? Actually now I think about it a lot of facts are presented as truth without explaining how it has come to that. Still that is one of the many subjects  you could debate on after having watched Elysium. Next to issues like health care or the elite having it all and the poor majority nothing. Or not of course. Elysium presents you with a world that might be our Earth in 144 years. Is it far fetched? A couple of things are. Some I think maybe are spot on emotion wise. I think it is always good that current topics are being touched upon enough to make you think about them without them distracting you from the main story or action. But I can understand that some people might be disappointed that Elysium is not paying enough attention to these important issues.   

Matt Damon as always is more than adequate for this role and brings enough to his character that is needed. Although I must say that the characterization in Elysium is somewhat lacking. It's always nice to see people having depth or do something unpredictable. Here everything is kept simple and none of the heroes or villains don't do anything you would not expect them to. As solid as Matt Damon was Sharlto Copley stole every scene he was in. The minute we get introduced to him we know what he is about. Villains need to be like this. Relentless and not giving a damn about the consequences. Other characters are only there to move the plot forward. Which is a bit of a shame. Including Jodie Foster who was almost brilliant as the evil and cold head honcho if not for the accent. It was terrible and made no sense whatsoever. 

Overall Elysium is a blast if you can accept it's focus is on the action and spectacle. One of the better blockbuster movies that has come out this year. Watch it! 

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