Elysium (2013)

Elysium Movie Poster

Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 

There is good science fiction, and there is bad science fiction. Elysium is the bad kind. Don’t bother.

Elysium is the sort of film that just doesn’t quite sit right with you while you’re watching it–for all the obvious reasons when in the moment–and then later on, as you’ve taken the time to properly digest it, you come to realize that there isn’t really a shred of story that holds together on any level. It’s not necessarily offensive viewing, but the entire concept is broken on so many layers that it’s impossible to be kind about it in any kind of objective analysis.

Brief example: a huge plot point hinges upon the fact that Jodie Foster’s repulsive and laughably over-the-top character can (essentially, single-handedly) stage a coup on the presidency of Elysium (which is the luxurious space station/colony to which all of the rich people flee when Earth becomes a total craphole) by simply rebooting the central computer and basically updating a database that will specify her as grand leader.

…and then there’s everything else. Sorry, Neill Blomkamp (director of Elysium)–I’m not sure where everything went wrong, but it clearly did. I’ve heard good things about District 9, but now I don’t know…

8 Replies to “Elysium (2013)”

  1. If you’ll remember, I hated District 9. I skipped this one because I disliked the director’s previous film, and because it didn’t look very good. District 9, at least, had an interesting premise, at least in regards to constructing an intriguing trailer (the actual film was trite and stupid), while this film’s trailer just made me think, “I’ve already seen this.”

    I was *kind* of interested if only because I really like Matt Damon. He’s a fantastic actor and he has one of the best track records for picking good scripts of any actor in recent memory, but… yeah… it just looked bad.

    1. I thought I remembered somebody hating District 9.

      Matt Damon is wasted here. I’m honestly not sure what sort of person his character is meant to be. He didn’t seem to know either.

      This film probably called for more of a Vin Diesel type.

  2. I remember when this movie first came out, I read a story (on TMZ or US weekly or some other shitty tabloid site) that Eminem was originally attached to star but he dropped out because of other commitments or something. It was intended to be his return to acting after 8 Mile. That would’ve been interesting. I actually thought he did a pretty impressive job in 8 Mile. I’m not saying he would’ve saved the movie, just that he was good in 8 Mile so maybe he’d be good in other things.

    As for District 9, it’s one of those movies where (and I’m totally talking out of my ass here) a smart person probably came up with a really interesting premise, and then a really bad writer was given the assignment to turn it into a script. Neil What’s his name isn’t a bad director, at least in terms of action, so it’s entertaining, especially since that guy who was also in the A-Team movie is a great actor, but it was just so fucking dumb. You should watch it just to see if you agree with me. A lot of people love it.

    Then again, District 9 is one of those movies that is beloved by people who don’t otherwise care about sci-fi, if you know what I mean. If you’ve ever read a novel by, say, Robert Heinlein, you’ve already seen this story done a thousand times better.

    1. Eminem. I could see that. It wouldn’t have made the movie any less shitty, but yeah–he’d have been better suited to it, maybe.

      I do want to see District 9 just to see it. The guy who played Howling Mad Murdoch was also in Elysium. Entertaining, but a performance hampered by the many character problems running throughout the film. Still…probably the best thing about the movie.

  3. Funny little thought that only you will appreciate (which is good because only you will read this far… except for maybe Josh in a few months after he remembers his brother has a blog and it’s easier to comment on his posts than call and say he loves you): Remember back in college how we once had a facetious conversation before the premier of 8 Mile were we said that Eminem shouldn’t make his acting debut as a raper, since that’s boring and predictable, but as Hari Seldon in an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation? Remember that? That’s still funny.

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