In “Elysium” director Neill Blomkamp has created a dream world, a nirvana set in the not too distant future.
This Utopian society orbits around a ruined earth. Filled with the world’s wealthiest citizens, this palatial space station also boasts cures for all diseases. It’s a paradise in the stars that looks down on a destroyed planet with indifference.
Meanwhile, down on earth, the planet is over populated and ruined. The world’s poor are governed by androids, and treated like cattle.
The film’s reluctant hero, Max (Matt Damon), is an ex-con, who like most of the Earth’s population, dreams of one day making it to Elysium.
When he’s the victim of a workplace accident, and is given only five days to live, he takes drastic measures to get himself up to the stars.
What starts as a mission to save only himself, turns into something much bigger when Max finds himself with some very valuable information.
The films concept is intriguing, but its execution is too black and white. The world created by Blomkamp is one-dimensional and depressing.
On one side you have the poor citizens of earth, struggling to survive. On the other, you have to cold and indifferent citizens of Elysium who have removed themselves from humanity.
Perhaps it’s the optimist in me, but where is the gray area? Where are the rich trying to help the less fortunate? Where are the charities offering assistance and healthcare to those who can’t afford it (which is pretty much everyone)?
Or perhaps that’s the point. It’s a cautionary tale, of what might happen if we don’t change our ways.
Personally, I’m a fan of a good underdog story, but it’s hard to root for the underdog when you’re not sure what they’re fighting for or against.
This sci-fi action flick aims high, but misses its mark.
…just for fun: