As a massive fan of Neill Blomkamp’s previous film, District 9, I went into the cinema really wanting to love Elysium. And it delights me to report that I left the film doing exactly that. I loved it, dare I say, more than District 9 but it was obvious right from the get-go that there were many parallels and comparisons to be made between the two films – Elysium just had slightly more polish to it.
The most obvious similarities between Elysium and District 9 is the fact that there is a chief protagonist who has something that is wanted by the authorities – in District 9, it was a human who had capabilities to use alien weaponry and in Elysium, it is data contained in a human’s brain.
The science fiction thriller certainly has an impressive cast which includes Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and a wonderfully mad-cap performance from District 9’s, Sharlto Copely. Set in 2154, Earth is dust-bowl that is filled with those who cannot afford to live the life of luxury and seeming immortality on the man-made creation that transcends above them in the sky, Elysium. This luxurious space outpost is only for those who can afford it and is filled with all the trappings of wealth – golf courses, breath-taking houses, boating lakes and, most importantly of course, the ability to cure almost any manner of ailment.
Needless to say, this makes it an attractive proposition to those who have been left to fester in menial work on planet earth and regular attempts to illegally gain access to Elysium repeatedly fail. This is until an industrial accident leaves Damon’s character with nothing to lose and he takes on a seeming suicide mission to infiltrate Elysium and open the gates to a more egalitarian society where everyone is welcome on the pristine space station and not just the privileged few.
What ensues is an utterly jaw-dropping array of show stopping, slow-motion set pieces and genuinely touching moments in a film which, in my opinion, clearly showcases that Blomkamp is certainly on track to become one of the best movie directors of his generation. The fact that the film was not only directed but was also written by Blomkamp makes the feat all the more impressive.
If you’re a fan of District 9, and even if you’re not, we here at The Coolector cannot recommend Elysium highly enough. A must-see in our book.