With Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Diego Luna, Alice Braga
Written & Directed by Neill Blomkamp
In 2154, the world is in ruins due to humanity's indiscriminate attitude. With the majority living in squalor on the overpopulated, blended planet, the very wealthy live comfortably in an orbiting space station with access to highly advanced medical treatment. A man constantly butting heads with authority in this Dystopian world (with its robotic police force) tries to live the straight and narrow path, working a shitty (but dangerous) job. On the one hand he has his old criminal pals luring him back, and on the other he reconnects with his childhood friend and soul mate whose daughter is very ill. After an accident at the work plant exposes him to a lethal dose of radiation, he is given pain killers and a swift death sentence with his pink slip. So, strapped into a robotic exoskeleton to keep his frail body going, he takes the job to download the memory of the man running the plant, which contains info that will make it possible for them to infiltrate Elysium, the orbiting utopia.
After his highly acclaimed and successful debut District 9, South African born director Neill Blomkamp's follow-up retains that gritty futuristic Sci-Fi ethic, to great effect. He balances high octane action and special effects with humanity and the drive for survival in the face of seemingly unbeatable odds.
Damon delivers a good shot as a conflicted man who is not evil, but not afraid to fight for what is right. Foster is adequately cold and calculated as the overseer of the privileged Elysium facility, and delivers a career first. But, Sharlto Copley steals the show as the Saffer mercenary with more than a few screws loose (kind of like a Recce of old on steroids, with many local in-jokes and Afrikaans that will thrill South African audiences).
Well worth a watch.
Extra DVD features include behind the scenes featurettes.
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished