Review: Elysium

This year has been a great one for movies. There have been so many amazing films released, big blockbuster action flicks, serious Oscar-contenders, indie breakouts and a good few animations too. So trying to decide what to see has been difficult. How do you choose?

This time, I was definitely reeled in by advertising, or more specifically a really good trailer and impressive director credentials. Elysium’s trailer looked so exciting and intriguing, with an interesting narrative, pretty awesome special FX and director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) at the helm. I could tell it was something to look out for.

It did not disappoint and, trust me, Elysium should be on your list of films to see this year.

Set just over 100 years from now, Elysium takes us to an Earth where the inhabitants of the planet are divided between 2 separate groups, the wealthy and the poor. Due to overpopulation, the poor live on the surface, are stricken with disease and have no hope. The wealthy live on ‘Elysium’, a new Garden of Eden environment in outer space where only those top of the hierarchy get to live.

Max (Matt Damon) is our standard blue-collar ex-crim just trying to get by, hoping maybe one day to get his chance to visit Elysium. Due to unexpected circumstances (think radiation poisoning and a jonesing to make the world a fairer place) Max finds himself revolting against the system and attempting to escape to Elysium for a cure.

Jodie Foster plays Secretary of Defence, Jessica Delacourt, the authoritarian leader who has set her eyes on being the next President and re-setting the entire system of Elysium. Other notable performances come from Sharlto Copley (previously seen in District 9 and The A-Team) and Alice Braga (Anna from I Am Legend).

The film feels a lot like District 9, with its colour palette, hybrid genre, camera shots, narrative, setting and, yes, Sharlto Copley’s reappearance. But this is not a bad thing and it’s Blomhamp’s vision, with skilled camera shots and dramatic action sequences that makes Elysium particularly stands out from the crowd.

There are moments where the camera movements are reminiscent of a video game, which is perfect within the futuristic action genre. As a child orphan Max speaks to a nun about how beautiful Elysium looked in the sky and the sister gives him a locket containing a photo of what Earth looks like to those on Elysium, proving that although the surface of the planet is a dangerous environment, the view of Earth from space looks entirely more beautiful. The shots they create to illustrate this do it absolute justice, they are just awe-inspiring. The special FX are also a little breathtaking and really make it a film worth seeing.

Go and see this film. And see it on the biggest screen possible. You really want to do justice to the action sequences, atmosphere and sound that really help make this movie a great one.

But even if you’re in dorms, it’s totally worth renting the DVD when it’s released, grabbing some popcorn and having your friends around to your room to watch it. It really has something for everyone, proper action, an interesting storyline, a little bit of gore and a whole lot of excitement.

★★★★☆

Jenna Pollard

Prefer things in print?

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You can read Jenna’s article in the latest edition of the UELSU newspaper, Oh My Daze – out now.

Elysium is out now.

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