Movie Review: Elysium

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Matt Damon is just another postapocalyptic guy trying to get along.  But, in “Elysium” he must shoot for the stars or at least the space station where all of Earth’s wealthy people live disease-free lives.  You see the “haves” abandoned the earth and left the “have-nots” to fend for themselves.  And, well things are pretty terrible in Los Angeles in the year 2154.

Damon works in some kind of widget factory where there’s a ton of radiation around.  He gets exposed to it and suddenly has only five days to live.  That means unless he gets to a medical bay on Elysium, he’s dead.  So, Damon dons his Robocop gear and gives it his best shot.

Oh, getting to Elysium is not easy.  The nasty rich people, led by Jodie Foster, will shoot your space shuttle down like it was a video game.

“Elysium” is the followup film to Neill Bloomkamp’s excellent sci-fi film, “District 9.”  This one, unfortunately, doesn’t quite measure up to the latter.  You see, it’s the basic unlikability of Damon’s anti-hero.  He spends about 90 percent of the motion picture not giving a rat’s behind about anyone but himself.  That kind of grates on you.  You know, we’d like to see a little flicker of humanity now and again, before he comes around.  Also, the film starts to remind you of Robocop as Damon dons his metallic gear.  It’s implanted into his skin.  Guys, we’ve seen this before.

There’s a bit of an action payoff for fans that want to see stuff blow up.  But, even that comes in fits and spurts.  One head explosion rates very high with me.

The acting is sub-par.  Damon fails to generate the hero vibe.  Jodie Foster is wasted as the iron-faced space queen.  And, her chief agent, is a South African actor who is very hard to understand.  His words, I mean.  We really could really use subtitles when this guy opens his mouth.  And, believe me, he’s in the movie, a lot.

No, “Elysium” is disappointing.  No other way you can say it.  Grade: C

Elysium