Elysium: Neill Blomkamp Strikes Gold Once Again With Health Care

Posted: August 9, 2013 in At The Movies
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When I saw Neill Blomkamp’s big screen feature debut with District 9 I wasn’t sold right away. I don’t know why, but it took multiple views for me to finally appreciate the vision that he brought to the table. Blomkamp presented a sci-fi masterpiece that centered around the issues of segregation with humans and aliens. The film also introduced me to a new actor in Sharlto Copley who was phenomenal. Since the success of District 9 I haven’t heard much from Blomkamp until now with the release of Elysium. After seeing the film, I can tell you that Blomkamp has once again struck gold with a solid sci-fi action movie featuring strong ties around the issue of health care.

Elysium takes place in the year 2154. Earth is now nothing more than a poverty stricken wasteland filled with overpopulation and disease. While the people of Earth struggle for a way to survive, the wealthiest citizens have fled the planet to a new home. Elysium. An orbiting citadel where the rich are living in a peaceful lap of luxury. Basically Elysium is a paradise, and the people of Earth will do just about anything to get there. Why? Well that’s because it’s more than an escape from the horrors of Earth. Elysium also has a machine that eliminates all illnesses from the human body including cancer.

Matt Damon stars as Max DeCosta who unfortunately receives a lethal dose of radiation while on the job. With only five days left to live his only choice is to do whatever it takes to get to Elysium. What happens from that point forward helps solidify Damon as an major action superstar. Sure he was great in the Bourne trilogy, but it’s what transpires in Elysium that helps put that consideration over the top. Jodie Foster also stars as Elysium’s Secretary of Defense Delacort, but her role probably could’ve been played by anyone since her performance is somewhat notable but forgettable at the very least. The same can also be said about Alice Braga who plays DeCosta’s childhood friend Frey.

While Matt Damon is the star it was Sharlto Copley who is reunited with director Neill Blomkamp who literally stole the show. Copley plays the psychotic villain Agent Kruger who’s out to stop DeCosta (Damon) from reaching Elysium. Once Delacort (Foster) gave the command “Activate Kruger” I knew that it was time for the action to pick up to a frantic pace with some cool weapons and battle sequences. Copley is great in this film as he literally stands out in every scene that he is in with his attitude and delivery. What really amazes me is the overall range that Copley has in the roles that he plays. How come this guy doesn’t have more roles in Hollywood?

Where Elysium truly shines would have to be when I saw how both sides lived their daily lives. The deplorable conditions featured on Earth made everything believable describing a world in shambles while Elysium showed a world of brilliance and perfection. Other than the life saving health machine I could really see why the citizens of Earth really wanted to get there for a better life. I also enjoyed all the action with fight scenes from Damon and Copley even if at times the fights moved so fast that the screen couldn’t seem to catch up, but this is only a minor gripe. I’m sure my HDTV will do much better when I get the Blu-ray.

No need for multiple viewings to get the film’s message. Elysium sold me from the trailers, and the end result was sheer amazement. The film is a great blend of sci-fi and action with great pacing as well as great acting from both Matt Damon and Sharlto Copley. Neill Blomkamp now has two successful films under his belt and will hopefully receive more director jobs on future. Now that he has conquered the themes of segregation and health care I wonder what he’s capable of doing next. A live action Halo movie? One can only hope.

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