Guest / Limited Access /
Elysium
Columbia Pictures
Elysium
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(8 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (For strong bloody violence and language throughout.)
Directed By
Neill Blomkamp
Run Time
1 hour 49 minutes
Cast
Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga
Theatre Release
August 09, 2013 by Sony Pictures Releasing

Whether or not you'll like Elysium is almost totally determined by whether you liked director Neil Blomkamp's debut film District 9, because it and Elysium are about as related as two films can be. Both feature men caught up in situations much bigger than themselves, both plots are intensely allegorical, and both are at times heavy-handed in a way that scares off and repels some critics.

While District 9 paired modern times with an alien twist, Elysium moves all the action 150 years from today, sans aliens, into an overpopulated and dilapidated Los Angeles. Matt Damon's Max works as a reformed ex-con in a sort of dystopian factory, manufacturing the very police drones that are comfortable with breaking his arm on the way to work. However, after managerial carelessness results in Damon receiving a lethal dose of radiation, Damon has only five days to reach the ultra-rich space station/lifeboat Elysium, which floats in the earth's atmosphere like another moon and harbors the terraphobic rich of 2154.

Elysium has none of District 9's multivalence, and that has prompted critics to castigate Blomkamp for a preachiness that was really there all along. Maybe Blomkamp's smartest move in District 9 was using the alien Prawns as a metaphorical double whammy. They represented both the struggles caused by apartheid in the past and the modern-day struggles over immigration.

Because of this, Blomkamp made no ideological enemies; people who enjoyed his stance on immigration chose that metaphor, and even if you thought countries should all have the closed-est of borders, well, no one thinks apartheid was a good thing. The even allegorical sell didn't alienate any potential viewers.

But now, releasing ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueRealizing My Addiction Had Chosen Me Began My Road to Recovery
Subscriber Access Only Realizing My Addiction Had Chosen Me Began My Road to Recovery
Framing addiction as a chronic disease gives a broader framework for understanding.
RecommendedThe Broken Hands of Doctor Strange
The Broken Hands of Doctor Strange
What Marvel’s latest hero movie teaches us about engaging suffering.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickWhen Christmas Meets the ‘Umbrage Industry’
When Christmas Meets the ‘Umbrage Industry’
If history is any guide, there’s no escaping the hostilities that erupt every December.
Christianity Today
Elysium
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

August 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.