Elysium: Movie Review

On paper, "Elysium" seems to have one of the most promising premises and with the brilliant mind who concocted "District 9" at the helm, expectations are certainly big. A future where the rich exploit the poor is nothing new but having the rich live in luxury miles above everyone else is something else though. Sadly, "Elysium" fails to achieve its full potential. The rich and impressive visuals and the fast action fail to make a compelling experience as the film is compounded and more or less held back by its undeveloped ideas that also fail to ever feel cohesive as a whole. The end result, sad to say, is more of a thud than a bang.

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined and devastated Earth. Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) will stop at nothing to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium but that does not stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. When Max (Matt Damon) gets into a radiation accident during work, he has five days left to live. The only way he could save himself is to break into Elysium and use the medical pods that can heal any sickness. Out of sheer desperation, Max agrees to take on this life-threatening and complicated mission that, as an indirect results, could also bring equality to these polarized worlds.

"Elysium" has everything working except for one crucial thing - its story. Visually speaking, the film is stunningly good. Earth definitely looks like a mess but the kicker is Elysium itself. The Stanford torus simply looks amazing on the big screen. We can definitely say that the CGI and effects were extremely well-done on a meticulous level. As for the action, it was fast and extremely vicious. Never did it bog down but the shaky cam may muddle your perception. Acting-wise, it was good enough but really nothing special. The biggest problem with "Elysium" though is its development from its premise. Whatever careful preparation done aesthetically is the complete opposite on the narrative side. There are a lot of things that will confound as the film had a tendency to skimp on the details. A lot of questions will be left unanswered and a lot of scenes and ideas will test common logic. Ultimately, these leads to the film feeling disjointed and less epic than it should have been. "Elysium" does enough to satisfy scifi fans for sure. But we can't help but think that it was also such a waste. It could have been much better in more ways than one.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- stunning visuals is best seen on IMAX
- acting was good enough
- action was vicious

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story was a huge letdown
- scenes feel disjointed and will test your common logic

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