Monday, September 2, 2013

Elysium (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

"District 9" director Neill Blomkamp delivers another sci-fi thriller with a bit of social consciousness in "Elysium" starring everybody's favorite blonde crusader for what's right, Matt Damon. The film co-stars an icy Jody Foster as a witchy bureaucrat.
Damon is Max, a criminalized young man through no fault of his own, his only trespass is that of being poor in a world harshly polarized between the haves and the have-nots. Our future earth is a police state, ravaged by pollutants and overpopulation.
The 1% have their own space station far removed from earth and they run it like Club Med.
Max is a common machinist. One day he  haplessly gets caught behind an auto-lock door in an attempt to save his menial job. The door traps him and he is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. 
He has five days to live. Driven to preserve his life (as anyone would) Max attempts to scheme his way to the exclusive station for the Astro Armani set where he can be cured by superior technology. 
But nothing is easy.
Max enlists the help of an underworld kingpin (Wagner Moura) to acquire an I.D in hopeful exchange for Elysium secrets. Because he needs superior strength to face security (after all Max has a broken arm and radiation sickness) they surgically attach a military strength exo-skeleton to him, almost exactly like the one used by Ivan Vanko in "Iron Man 2"
The villas of Elysium are guarded by a sadistic madman played by Sharlto Copley.
What follows is essentially "The Bourne Identity" fused with  Philip K. Dick. But although somewhat predictable, the authentic social commentary along with the George Miller setting ala "The Road Warrior" make this film a watchable thrill ride.  William Fichtner plays a perfectly cold fish, and who can pass up Jody Foster as a Tiffany-white Ayn Rand Snow Queen?

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