I know this is a late review but I just saw Elysium last Wednesday because it sucks to live in Manila. But anyway, for those of you who follow my blog, you know that this is one of my most anticipated movie of the year. Why? Because of Neill Blomkamp rocks and District 9 is awesome, that should suffice. So for those who still have Elysium showing on theatres and have not seen it, this is my review of Neill Blomkamp’s follow up to District 9.
Starring Matt Damon, Alice Braga, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley , Elysium is set in the dystopic future 2154 where earth is already a crap hole where poor people live to die. And those who have the money and power built themselves a shiny space station called Elysium just within earth’s orbit to live forever free from disease and the eye sore of earth’s predicament. The story follows a guy named Max who was orphaned at a young age who dreamed to go to Elysium someday.
The direction, cinematography and the effects were awesome. And I mean awesome! Despite the use of shaky cam, Blomkamp’s style is definitely unique. He uses the camera with his own touch of genius and it is amazing. I mean the shots of Elysium and of earth on the movie were spectacular, some shots you even think Kubrick. But I think my favorite part of the director’s genius was his effects because the robots were wow. I was just amazed on how he visualized the robots’ movements and how they were so life like. To me, these felt like non-abiding Asimov robots, think District 9 prawns but way better. The thing that let me down a little bit (maybe more than a little) was the story, because towards the end, the story did not feel seamless. It felt a little disconnected which was weird because I know Blomkamp understands story and character well (based on District 9). Also, the character developments were not as deep as you would want them to be. At the end of it, I was left with a few questions about the plot of this movie that I have yet to find the answers. But do not worry; I will post them on a separate review.
The acting for sure was superb. We all know Matt Damon can kick ass (he already did this as Jason Bourne), but he really captured the essence of desperation through trying times. You really felt his struggle to stay alive which was at all cost in this movie. Alice Braga of whom I was never really fond off because I hated I Am Legend, was really good in this movie. I really liked her for this role. Jodie Foster was a little weird, she was bitchy for sure but I never felt that she was as powerful as she thought she was (or maybe this was because people from Elysium had a false sense of infallibility, or at least that’s my theory). And of course, everyone was raving about Sharlto Copley in this movie but I have to say, he was better as Wikus. Not that he did not do a great job, he was an asshole, he was creepy, he was menacing but I felt that his power was still an exterior. Although I did wince a lot when he was on screen because I thought he was going to crush someone’s skull at any given moment. But from the cast, I was really impressed with Wagner Moura, he isn’t that well known because I looked him up because I never saw him before but he was good in the movie. Despite my questionable outlook on his character, I think he was the hope that the movie needed and he played being heroic well despite being a thug, which was weird.
Despite not being super wowed by Elysium which I thought I would be, I have to rate it as a MUST SEE. If you like action thrillers with great cinematography told Blomkamp style, this is a reason to go to the cinema this weekend. The action was still awesome, the cinematography was breathtaking and the robots were awesome.