"Elysium," a science fiction/action film, debuted in theaters last week and has since gone on to disappoint viewers all over the world.
While quick to get started, the movie, unlike other action films, forgets to let the audience breathe after it has been introduced. It proceeds to drag the viewer along with barely a moment to relax. While "Elysium" proves able to keep one's attention, the viewer quickly starts to wonder if their time or money might have been better spent going to see "Grown Ups 2."
The film is set on a futuristic Earth inhabited only by the poor who cannot afford to live on the utopian space station fittingly named Elysium. It ruins its own chances of being a serious movie by overwhelming viewers with numerous allegories to the current inequalities in society.
Matt Damon's acting could never be questioned, but the plot is rife with symbolism and attempts to elicit reactions from viewers that even the most liberal of the audience will want a refund upon their exit.
There is no doubt that the director, Neill Blomkamp, who came off his well-deserved "District 9" success four years ago, worked hard on the film. In fact, it would be surprising if "Elysium" is not nominated for special effects awards, but that is one of the few things this movie does well. The main character is Max DeCosta, played by Damon. DeCosta attempts to journey to Elysium to help his friend, Frey, played by Brazil native Alice Braga, cure her daughter of cancer. The audience is barely given a chance to take everything in before a shooting scene erupts or a spaceship crashes.
Unlike other action films that suffer from an overabundance of pyrotechnics and lack of a meaningful dialogue, "Elysium's" downfall comes from swinging too far in the opposite direction. When the minister for defense, Delacourt, played by Jodie Foster, tries to contain humans from reaching Elysium, she summons the fictional version of "Homeland Security."While Americans need to have relevant and meaningful conversations about the state of healthcare, immigration, treatment of the poor and the actions of police, this movie is unhelpful as it oversimplifies and obscures normally complicated issues. However, a bright spot was the acting by South Africa native Sharlto Copley in his role as Agent Kruger. The relatively clean-faced actor, made famous as Murdock in "The A-Team" undergoes a complete transformation into the cold-blooded mercenary who Agent Kruger becomes on screen. Copley, who also worked with Blomkamp as the main character in "District 9," proves himself a versatile actor as he fights and shoots his way to disrupt Damon's grand plans for the space station.
While "Elysium" has a good cast and will impress special effects critics, it took on too many blatant allusions to contemporary politics and fails to follow through with good timing and spacing issues.