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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Elysium, a Movie Review

Last night we went to see Elysium starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. If given more choices of movies this would not have not been my first, but we had seen everything else playing at the theater at the time we were there. The New York Times reviews were OK, they didn't pan it. I did not care for the trailers - earth savaged, nothing green left, just a smog infested, over populated wasteland. Meanwhile, high above the filth is the utopia called "Elysium", an ideal wealthy green paradise filled with gardens and white mansions, where no one dies, and any illness or disease can be instantly rid from the body through the Med-pods installed in every one's home.

The people on Earth are not allowed to immigrate to Elysium. Naturally, they are totally ruled by droids (robots) controlled by the government of Elysium, because no human from up there wants to venture down to the now barren Earth. And, the very few Elysium citizens who do only visit occasionally to run the factories. Otherwise the Earth is controlled by fear through the ever present "human" droids that over see most aspects of their lives.  

Some reviewers saw it as a political commentary on the fractured society and how the divide between rich and poor was growing greater. I did not find it that deep. As usual Jodie Foster is very strong in her role (as a very determined defense minister who will stop at nothing to keep Elysium free of those "others"). Not everyone on Elysium is as cold hearted as she is. Matt Damon plays the role of machine worker on Earth who finds himself in need of the instant medical cures Elysium offers.

As the New York Times noted, one thing different about this and all the other Earth-has-been-ravaged movies, is there is no view of the New York skyline, thankfully. The story line is in Los Angeles, although one would have a hard time recognizing it. The movie was more enjoyable than I feared and less an action film than I dreaded. There were one or two combat scenes I could have done without, but I am a 53 year woman, so shoot me. 

And, yes there is a boy meets girl, girl disappears, girl reappears, but I will not spoil that for you. Will Secretary Delacourt (Foster) keep the "others" at bey? Will Max (Damon) get the medical treatment he so badly needs? Can Spider (Wagner Moura)'s wiles and network save Earth? Will Kruger (Sharlto Copley) be able to protect Elysium? Oh, so much to learn in 109 minutes.

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