In 2154, two classes of people exist: the wealthy, who live on a luxurious space station called Elysium, and the poor, who live on an overpopulated, devastated Earth. While residents on Earth are policed by ruthless robots, Elysium’s citizens live in comfort and regularly use bed-sized medical devices called Med-Bays to keep them free of disease and injury. Max Da Costa (Matt Damon), a former car thief and parolee, lives in the ruins of Los Angeles and works at an assembly line for Armadyne Corp, the military company that supplies arms and weapons to Elysium, and creates the robots that police Earth. An accident at the plant exposes Max to a lethal dose of radiation, giving him only five days to live. Meanwhile, when a caravan of illegal immigrants from Earth attempts to reach Elysium and its Med-Bays, Elysian Secretary of Defense Delacourt (Jodie Foster) orders a sleeper agent, Kruger (Sharlto Copley), to shoot down the shuttles. Elysian President Patel (Faran Tahir) reprimands her and dismisses Kruger from service. Delacourt, vowing to protect Elysium and her own power, bargains with Armadyne CEO John Carlyle (William Fichtner) to write a program that can override Elysium’s central computer and make her President. Carlyle creates the program in his office on Earth and uploads it to his brain for safekeeping, encrypting it with a lethal denial system. Max, knowing his only chance for survival is a Med-Bay, seeks help from notorious smuggler Spider (Wagner Moura), with the assistance of his friend Julio (Diego Luna). Spider agrees to get Max to Elysium if he helps him steal valuable financial information from Carlyle. Recognizing Max’s weakened condition, Spider has his doctors implant Max with a powered exoskeleton, giving him superhuman strength, as well as a brain implant that can store data. Max, Julio and a team of Spider’s men intercept Carlyle’s ship, and Max downloads the data (including the program) to his brain. However, due to the encryption, the information appears unusable. Delacourt secretly deploys Kruger to rescue Carlyle and recover the program. In the ensuing firefight, nearly all of Max’s allies are killed, Carlyle is mortally wounded, and an injured Max retreats to the house of Frey (Alice Braga), a childhood friend whose daughter, Matilda, has leukemia. After learning that Max intends to smuggle himself to Elysium, Frey begs him to take Matilda with him so that she can be cured, but Max refuses. With Max on the run, Delacourt orders an airspace lockdown over Los Angeles to buy her enough time to recover Carlyle’s program…

I haven´t seen Neill Blomkamp´s “District 9”, but I know it was visually stunning. Meaning, I was hoping for the same with “Elysium”. And yes, he does deliver a visually stunning movie at times with an interesting storyline as a backdrop. The main focus is the growing distance between the poor and the rich, a topic as current as ever and not science fiction. The story relates as well to current harsh immigration situations we see every other day in for example Syria. I reckon Blomkamp has managed to balance that and communicate the message. However, everything comes down to how you handle and execute what you got, and I personally don´t like what he has done dramatically with this story. The dramatic structure is of a crappy Michael Bay actioneer, all the actors are all more or less in overdrive giving us extremely overacted results (specifically Jodie Foster), Matt Damon has burnt his presence on the screen in my opinion and is quite boring to see these days, you could see the ending coming a mile a way and it just leaves you with a disappointing gut feeling. The action, the general storyline, the details (weapons, space ships etc) and the CGI is of my liking, but it´s hardly enough to satisfy. (3 out of 5)

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