|year: 2013 cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Sharlto Copley, Diego Luna, Emma Tremblay rating: *|
A circular space station floating above Earth’s atmosphere and resembling the base ship from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, a closer look reveals plush lawns, swimming pools and lazy rich people who seem to have won a Galactic lottery since there’s no work going on. They simply have while the have-nots dream of living in that slowly spinning utopia called ELYSIUM.
Matt Damon plays Max, an ex-convict following strict parole orders on a scorched Earth liken to your typical post-Apocalyptic future, although not a result of nuclear war but a really bad environment.
The sarcastically unmotivated Max doesn’t want any part of a ragged team of overacting revolutionaries (Diego Luna, as the motley team captain, should win a Razzie), desperately wanting to set things straight by making illegal aliens legal on that idyllic haven “protected” by Jodie Foster’s tight-lipped Delacourt (speaking with a really bad British accent), head of what’s still called Homeland Security after two-hundred years. It’s when Max is exposed to radiation, and has only five days to live, that he decides to fight the good fight… After all, ELYSIUM provides not only luxury but harbors medical facilities that can heal any ailment.
A few bone-crushing gun battles occur between our fully-loaded hero... first on a mission to retrieve important data and then protecting the woman he loves… verses an extremely sinister (and equally annoying) thug, providing shaky action sequences leading to a politically-driven agenda so obnoxiously blatant, you'll forget there was ever a movie playing at all.
Sci-fi classics such as SOYLENT GREEN and SILENT RUNNING had their social messages firmly intact, but when theme trumps plot and/or character-development, or in this case, theme-development with characters on the side, anything the story might have going for it gets blown to smithereens.