Keep or Pass: Elysium Advance Screening Review

elysium-posterFilm: Elysium

Premieres: August 9th, 2013

Starring: Matt Damon and Jodie Foster

You’ll Like This If: You liked District 9, dystopian films, and Matt Damon.

You’ll Hate This If: You hated District 9

The Short and Skinny: Set in 2154, the world is in ruins. Those that can afford it have bought tickets to live on the space station, Elysium, and those who cannot pay the price have been left to fend for themselves on a near-ruined Earth. Matt Damon plays Max, an ex-convict trying to set his life straight. After an unexpected accident, Max has no other choice but to get to Elysium to try to heal himself. In the process, he has takes on a mission that might just level the playing field between Earth and Elysium.

I was really excited for this film. I mean REALLY excited. Dystopian + Matt Damon = I’m there. I was hoping that Neill Blomkamp could rein it in…and for the most part he did. The film is visually stunning and very realistic. The writing, however, was just okay. Several characters including Jodie Foster as the Secretary of Defense, Delacourt, and William Fichtner’s ‘Carlyle’ were not properly developed and were simply not engaging.

The first forty-five minutes of the film is intelligent and provided a great schism between Earth and Elysium, but everything after that was just “shoot ‘em up” violence. Unfortunately, I was interested in seeing more of the dystopian Earth and Elysium than I was in seeing someone’s face blown in. Thanks, but I’ll pass on that. There were definitely parts that make you cringe. That being said, if are new to Neill Blomkamp film, you might expect to feel a bit uneasy at first as his films are not the traditional blockbuster fare, but enjoy (for the most part) the ride! If you loved District 9 and are expecting a repeat, you might just be a bit disappointed. In terms of the summer blockbusters, this is one of the better ones.

Keep or Pass: Keep!




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