Elysium
Format: Amazon Instant VideoChange
Price:$2.99
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

223 of 284 people found the following review helpful
I don't mind brainless sci-fi. Sometimes it's nice just to have something cool to look at for awhile. Also, I have no problem with movies that moralize. It's great to question things, propose new ideas, or just point at injustices in the hopes of raising awareness. I DO, however, have a problem when a movie ends up being both, especially since a lot of the time it ends up accidentally trivializing something I usually already care about. Case in point: Elysium.

The story concerns Max, a reformed criminal who lives in a futuristic, devastated Los Angeles. The world, ravaged by pollution and overpopulation, is now filled with nothing but the poor and lower classes. If you're lucky, like Max, you have a job. In his case, he works for Armadyne, the company that produces the robots that police and monitor the world. All of the wealthiest people in the world, meanwhile, have created Elysium, a utopian space colony in orbit high above Earth, where they live in unbelievably crystalline splendor. They also have these magical beds that can instantly cure any disease or ailment in a matter of seconds. The poor folk on Earth, of course, must deal with second-rate health care that, while seemingly public, is dismissive and half-hearted. When an accident at work gives Max less than a week to live, he dons a superstrong exo-skeleton and undertakes a mission to make it to Elysium to get to one of those magic, medical beds. During the course of his mission, he finds his own selfish views challenged by corrupt senators, mind-bogglingly cute kids with leukemia, and a helter-skelter style military strong-arm named Kruger.

Visually appealing with some stunning action sequences, the movie is a popcorn muncher from nearly the first frame (although I'm leaving out the first five minutes of clunky Hallmark-style exposition and character development, much of which involves a nun). Directed by the same guy who gave us the rousing and engaging District 9, the pacing, framing, and cinematography is pretty much top-of-the-line.

The problem is that the script is about as heavy-handed as that big stone guy from The NeverEnding Story. The symbolism has got all of the subtlety of a sledgehammer, and when you step back and really think about the story, there's a whole lot that doesn't make sense. For instance, it's never clear why these medical beds are hoarded on Elysium. Do they use an excessive amount of power or resources? Is it considered economically or socially better to have the bulk of your citizenry in a state of malnourishment and filth? Do they break down easily? It automatically classifies the Haves of the movie as heartless and selfish for no real, good reason. Furthermore, the Haves are totemized in the cold, unforgiving character of Secretary of Defense Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster doing ... well, whatever kind of accent she was aiming for, the result was awful and distracting). Ms. Delacourt's machinations tend to be completely nonsensical as well. I won't give too much away, other than to say that some of her behavior hinges on the fact that Presidents, in this future, can be displaced by rebooting computer programs. It'd be like waking up one day and discovering that Sarah Palin is the President instead of Obama. "But how? Why?" we'd ask. "This computer says she is," they say. "Oh. Okay, then."

Huh?

Obviously a morality play about apartheid, social divisions, the economic gap, and human rights, the movie takes a message that I tend to agree with and makes it so cartoonish and implausible that it almost seems to be making fun of it. The action, the 'splosions, the cool fight scenes, and the various swooping, wooshing, clanking destruction of it all makes for some fun, mindless viewing, but when the movie tries to prove that it does have some kind of brainwave, it gets both in-your-face and nearly incomprehensible. In other words, the seriousness of the film has as much brassy, crazy fire as the shallower elements, making it all seem rather patronizing.

Try not to think too hard about it, and you might enjoy yourself, but be warned. When it's not dazzling you with its pyrotechnic skill, the movie WILL try to get you to think. That's probably the point when you should get up for more popcorn.
3232 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
201 of 261 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2013
Not quite 5-stars but it's ambitious, fast, thrilling and at times fantastic.

The visuals deliver the goods, just amazing, with a tip of the hat to the gritty look and feel of District 9. Also, and this is key, the fight and action scenes are intense and immersive. You feel like you are in them as you watch.

The plot is the classic Hollywood story split, and suspension of disbelief is a must to get the full ride from this movie. Part of the story takes place on Elysium , a highly secure, space habitat for the rich and wealthy. The other part of the story takes place on a wild and hairy 2154 Earth A.D. These stories evolve on their own and then merge to get the sparks flying.

The acting is solid as you would expect. Everyone gives pretty tight performances that help make the movie that much more entertaining.

In all, good sci-fi entertainment, that does what good sci-fi does: use the future to make you think about the present. It's a solid follow-up to District 9 for this director.

And also, whatever your political beliefs are, set them aside and enjoy. The Day the Earth Stood Still, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, A Clockwork Orange, Starship Troopers all posed a possible future based on the filmmaker's imagination. I didn't have to agree or disagree to enjoy them. I enjoyed them because they were great stories, great movies.

I look forward to more.

Enjoy!
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2015
Normally, I don't like movies with Matt Damon but this time I think he did a fine job. I didn't really see Matt Damon, and Jodie Foster played her character just as well. But I really watch it for Sharlto Copley (Kruger), he is such a great actor and brings such a unique feel to his characters. The theme of the movie is great, especially when you don't take the message as a personal attack to whatever your current political beliefs may be. The gap between the havs and have nots is an issue that has been around as long as civilization has, even who has access to better doctors and health care. This is not just modern day problem but one that will be with us for a long time yet, but regardless stories like this should be made and the theme just brings it closer to home, maybe helping you identify with the characters.

Also I think it goes without saying that the visual presentation of this movie is incredible. The work that went into the details makes it so believable, as if Elysium really could be built.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Elysium(released Aug/13)stars,among others,Matt Damon,Jodie Foster,Sharlto Copley and Alice Braga.This is a film that has a nice look to it,with sharp looking S/FX,but we have yet again a meandering plot with all the usual tricks of the writing trade and with little substance overall.
The story finds Damon as an ex con living in an over populated and devastatingly run down Los Angeles.All the rich of the world have fled to a space station orbiting the earth. And the folks on earth constantly dream of saving up enough moolah to get up there.One day at work Damon gets exposed to a radiation overdose and he seeks the help of a man he used to work for to get him to Elysium where he can be saved.
Meanwhile on Elysium,Foster the defense secretary,is having problems of her own.She has just shot down three shuttles from earth trying to land illegally and has killed a significant number of people in the process.The president is none too pleased and she is given a short leash.She hatches a scheme with the owner of the same company Damon works for.She gets him to produce a computer app that will rewrite the programming on Elysium and install her as the new president.
Damon's old boss says the only way he will get him up to Elysium is if Damon can steal the new app his boss has made.They outfit Damon with an exo skeleton drilled right into his body.It will not only enhance his physical strength,but also comes with a brain implant which will allow Damon to store the app data in his brain for download later.As Damon's present boss prepares to leave earth,Damon and some selected assistants bring his shuttle down.They are working on short time as some clandestine hired hit men(working for Foster)are also tracking the shuttle.Damon gets the info he needs but all of his team are killed.Seriously wounded he heads to the home of an old girl friend who patches him up.He leaves soon after not wanting to endanger her or her daughter.Foster puts a transmission lock down over L.A. and sends her clandestine group after Damon.They eventually find him and he is brought aboard the shuttle,which later arrives on Elysium.His old girl friend and her daughter are also on board,being used as a bargaining chip.Damon plays along until the leader tries to over power him just before they land,resulting in the leader losing most of his face in a grenade blast.Damon's old flame spirits her daughter to a home,which has a medical unit which can reverse her deadly leukemia.
During this commotion Damon's old boss has arrived on Elysium also,and meets up with Damon and examines the data.It turns out the data will make everyone on Earth a citizen of Elysium.While they fight their way to a main terminal,Foster has confronted her bag man over his incompetence.After having just reconstructed his face,he kills her and sets out to find and kill Damon.The battle eventually arrives,with Damon coming through in grand style.Damon and his old boss finally reach the terminal and Damon is plugged into it.The download will kill Damon but end Elysium's control over itself and its citizens.Damon pushes the button himself and the download begins.The Elysium computers having recognized Earth citizens as their own,now dispatch medical ships to Earth to heal the inhabitants there,in need.Damon of course is kaput-skied.
As I said it is a meandering plot and Damon's"acting" does nothing for this reviewer at all.Quite vanilla actually.And the plot,well let's look at some "issues"I have with the story.What is with that space station?When we first see it,it looks like they reused the miniature from 2001 a Space Odyssey.Then there's Foster's accent.She goes in and out of it,whatever in the world"it" was! Then there is Damon's radiation overdose.The thing is to not make things so obvious,well,so obvious.There is a pallet obstructing a thick door from closing.In the little space open he tries unsuccessfully to kick it away.You know that if he goes inside the door will close behind him.What does his boss come along and tell him to do? Of course,go inside.And what does the door do?I think you know.And of course we must feel empathy for Damon,whose company treats their employees like crap.An old writing canard if there ever was one.Way too obvious and old hat.And in this film with such little depth,it stands out far too much.And finally(only because there is a limited space here)how in the heck did Damon's old boss get onto Elysium without being detected or attacked? At the beginning of the film we are given stark images of ships that try to illegally land being blown out of the sky.But not in this instance.I guess the writers REALLY needed him up there,whatever they had to do.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include two featurettes.It tells you on the outside of the DVD case that if you want more extras,buy the Blu-Ray.We always have known the industry has always been constantly pushing the consumer in certain directions(from records,to tapes,to CDs,from VHS to DVD's now to Blu Ray).We got that same spiel when they were forcing us into DVD's from VHS tapes. So if you were ever wondering whether we're being manipulated,that kind of confirms it.
All in all a lacklustre film with a lacklustre script.The plot has a lot of holes in it and Foster's attempt at some form of accent is hilarious.Damon is totally nondescript in his role;it could have been anyone(and anyone else may have done better!).
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
Good concept, badly acted and too much cursing for me. I really love science fiction, but this one had no real depth to it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
The underlying story is the same hollywood theme. I can get over the unreal fantasy type fight scenes and such, but real world life is never fair, so I wish hollywood would just once in a while not follow the same old theme of making everything equal - knocking off the upper class in order to take care of the poor - in real life it is usually never happens that way. But all is not bad it has great effects and plenty of action. The bad guy was hard to understand I wish they would have lightenend the accent.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
If you liked the "Lost in Space" TV series, this might be for you. If you are a Trekkie, it might be mildly interesting. Matt Damon is a good actor...I can't believe his agent let him take part in this unbelievable fantasy that has a very weak plot. The concept of a space colony high above the earth for the rich elite with the poor and destitute seeking to find a better and richer life is certainly not a unique plot, and it is not carried out well here. Your kids may like it, but you won't.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2014
Sci-Fi is my favorite genre. My dad read Sci-Fi, and I have continued to enjoy it for over 50 years. There are no new stories here, just a different take on our future. Therefore it is up to script writers and graphic artists to do it in a new way. This movie is very ho hum. Even the "sets" are gray. No emotion, Jodi Foster who is an actress famous for her talents had nothing to work with. Damon's role was not strong enough to make you care. Nothing caught my eye in this movie. Backgrounds should be "eye candy" in science fiction. There was none of that here. I wish there was more Science Fiction for us to see. I was happy to have this to watch, but it was not something I wanted to see right away. I was not wrong.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2014
Coming from the creator of District 9 I was expecting great things from Elysium. Some of those great things are there. It looks great, is well acted, and never feels boring. The down side though is that it is one of those movies where one thing is happening and that is all we are supposed to be interested in. It needed more character development for my liking and to be more than just a good action movie.

My recommendation: do watch it, but don't expect it to change your life.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2014
Matt Damon is the only reason this movie would be worth watching for FREE on Netflix or Amazon Prime. He does an OK job with his acting. All other acting is poor/half hearted. The only reason why Damon and Joddie Foster did this flick is for the political statement. However, think the fundamental issue with this movie is that it's totally unbelievable. Advanced cancer cured in 10 second by a scanner, small ships launching and reaching an orbiting station in about a minute, tiny missiles fired from a gun catching and taking out said ships in 20 seconds or so, and more. Note, I love Sci Fi, and I know you have to allow liberties in how reality is presented, but this flick goes to far.

This movie also follows the general Hollywood theme these days... Middle Class/Rich law abiding white people = Bad Guys. Minority or Poor/Criminal whites = Good Guys. If your into that, then this movie might be a bit better.

Save your money, wait for it to be free on Prime or Netflix.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed

District 9
District 9 by Sharlto Copley

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.