MOVIE REVIEW: Elysium – Good Healthcare is What Everyone Wants


Written By: Justin Morales

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley

The year is 2154 and Earth has become over populated and polluted and not much can be done about it. So the rich, who wants to maintain their way of living, decide to leave Earth and live on a man-made space station called Elysium. It’s everyone’s dream to get to Elysium, not only because they get to leave the ruined planet that Earth has become but they can also get their hands on these healing pods that can cure any disease, disability, or bruise.

Max (Matt Damon) always dreamt of going to Elysium since he was a child growing up in an orphanage, promising fellow orphan Frey (Alice Braga) that he will get them their one day. Max grew up with a life full of crime and have seen the wrong side of the law a hand full of times and ends up working at a robotics company, Armadyne. Max’s dreams of going to Elysium have all but vanished until he gets into an accident at work one day, receiving a full dose of radiation and is told he has only five days to live. But getting to Elysium is not that simple, you must purchase an expensive ticket which grants you access to the beauty of Elysium or put your life in Spider’s (Wagner Moura) hand and have him attempt to get you onto Elysium via stolen spacecraft. But Secretary of Defense of Elysium Delacourt (Jodie Foster) makes sure that does the ship doesn’t land and if it does the passengers are automatically captured.

Max, who figures he is going to die regardless, contacts Spider and demands a ticket to Elysium but instead of getting a ticket he receives a suicide mission in which his completion will gain access to Elysium – take the bank and account codes out of the head of an Elysium ‘citizen’ and the owner of Armadyne John Carlyle (William Fichtner). Getting to Carlyle’s head was an easy task but what Max and Spider didn’t anticipate was Carlyle’s top secret code which is very important to Delacourt. With the coding now in Max’s head, Delacourt sends sleeper agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley) and his crew after Max. Kruger, while on the hunt for Max, finds Max’s childhood Frey and her daughter who has leukemia and takes them as hostage. Now Max has to save Frey and her daughter and get the information to Spider before Kruger gets to him all within five days before Max dies.

The one thing you don’t want to go into this film expecting is great action. The action is not the highlight of the film as the last battle scene, which is usually the best fight scene, would be the first action scene in most good action films. You get the explosions, the gun fights and hand combat but after each fight you keep wanting more.

It’s hard to watch this film and not compare it to Blomkamp’s earlier work District 9. Unfortunately his earlier work is also better. They are both sci-fi films that incorporate real current political problems seamlessly. In Elysium, Blomkamp discusses universal health care, immigration reform, national ID’s, and the elite upper class. In both films Blomkamp makes a world that you have no choice but to love, you feel as if this world Blomkamp just created is real and seeing how the film is surrounded around this world, this is a feeling you have to love in any film. But the problem that Elysium faces is that it doesn’t really draw your attention. You never grow a connection with the characters even though the movie is slow paced. Yes, you understand why Max and Spider are doing what they are doing at the end of the day but the end product of their mission makes you question if they really made Earth a better place.

If you are a fan of sci-fi films then I suggest you go see this film but in any other scenario I would recommend you wait until the film comes out on DVD.

What The Delio?: 7/10

We haven’t seen Eminem on the big screen since 8 Mile and we were close to seeing him as Max in Elysium. Watch the video below for more details: