Do you remember 2009’s District 9? Of course you do! Because it was easily that year’s best sci-fi movie… eat that James Cameron! Not only was it a movie that looked spectacular, it also had a good story that came with some solid social commentary. This time around director Neill Blomkamp had Matt Damon and three times the budget of District 9 at his disposal. Needless to say that expectations were high.
In 2154 earth basically turned into one big favella where only the poor saps still live. The rich gathered up their belongings and moved to a new neighborhood called Elysium, an enormous space station run by Delcacourt (an über-bitch played by Jodie Foster). It comes with nothing but clean air, big villas and medical pods that can cure you immediately, no matter what the illness or wound. It’s especially that last thingy that makes Max (Matt Damon) want to go there after being exposed to a lethal dose of radiation at work. In order to get his chance, he has to pull off one last job for the gang he used to be in. And it just so happens that that job lands him very high on Delacourt’s shitlist.
The messages might be a bit too obvious (health care should be free for everyone! The divide between rich and poor shouldn’t be this big! Immigration laws should be less strict!), the plot shows quite a few holes and the finale is more generic than memorable but that doesn’t stop Elysium from being the blockbuster it wants to be. The sets look spectacular, Matt Damon is as good as always and the action will… well, blow you away. So yeah, not quite as refined as District 9 but Blomkamp once again shows that he has a real knack for sci-fi even if next time around he should spend a little more time on the story first.