This is a movie that every card-carrying conspiracy theorist will welcome with open arms. Geeks and sci-fi fans would be equally happy with the creepy science, vision and action. Those who just like movies would be entertained and engrossed for two-thirds of the film before it all comes unravelled. It is 2154 and the world is all over populated and ruined — it already is, you might say. The majority of the human race lives in wretched conditions on the barren earth, while the privileged few live on a luxurious space station called Elysium. The citizens of Elysium have access to med bays which can treat any sickness.
Max Da Costa is a former car thief working in an assembly line for the company that built Elysium. His wicked boss, John Carlyle, cannot bear to breathe the air on earth. Max meets with an accident and has only five days to live. He meets up with his former employer and agrees for one last job to finance his trip to Elysium to get cured. Something is rotten in Elysium as Secretary of Defence Jessica Delacourt is up to no good. She sends a psychotic mercenary after Da Costa.
The action is bloody and brutal — the weapons are so cool! There are some basic parallels one could draw about healthcare and immigration. Matt Damon as Max presents another version of Jason Bourne. Jodie Foster’s Delacourt after Charlize Theron’s Meredith Vickers in Prometheus is yet another Snow Queen with a sliver of ice in her heart. What is with all these science fiction movies and Greek myth? The Elysian Fields is where the righteous hang out after dying and in 2154 the rich are the righteous.
The third act came apart with a fight that goes on for too long and payoffs not matching the set-ups. The movie was faintly reminiscent of Hindi movies of the Seventies — the childhood sweethearts and the wicked rich people in their sharp suits and mincing accents being the root of all evil. The music was very cool incidentally and added warmth and colour to a dun-hued future.
At the end of the film, one question remains, will Damon ever stop running?
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner
Storyline: The world is divided into haves and have-nots and is ready for salvation.
Bottomline: Interesting and off-centre