Elysium is a 2013 movie, which is set in 2154. During this period of time, the Earth has become overpopulated and polluted, which has forced the rich Earthlings to develop a habitat in space. Within this high-tech habitat, the rich are able to live in peace, with technologies that can cure all of their aliments using Med-Bays. When it boils down to it, the folks on Elysium live it up, while those on Earth live in squaller.
As small groups of poor Earthlings attempt to immigrate to Elysium, they’re shot down at the orders of Secretary of Defense Delacourt (Jodie Forster), by using a sleeper agent, Kruger (Sharlto Copley), who is on Earth. While one plane is able to enter the habitat, the others are destroyed in flight. Of course, this angers President Patel (Faran Tahir), who punishes Delacourt of her actions, before threatening to fire her, if she doesn’t straighten up.
Matt Damon stars as Max Da Costa, who is a former inmate that works among the poor on Earth. He works at The Armadyne Corporation’s plant, which is run by John Carlyle (William Ficthner), who happened to design the sophisticated home away from home, Elysium. An accident at work causes Max to become contaminated by radiation, which will kill him in several days. With his life slipping away, a desperate Max is forced to hook up with his friend, Julio (Diego Luna), who has access to those involved with smuggling humans to Elysium. One of the smugglers, Spider (Wagner Moura) agrees to help transport Max to Elysium, as long as Max agrees to help them, with a delicate task.
Meanwhile, Delacourt convinces John Carlyle to reprogram the system, in order to make her president. Back on Earth, Max agrees to help the smugglers and is fitted with a high-tech exoskeleton system, which is capable of collecting data from other people’s databases. With the smugglers, Max shoots down Carlyle’s ship, before stealing his information and killing him. Of course, the information is unusable, since it is encrypted. After a grueling fight, Max is able to escape. He eventually makes contact with his long time friend, Frey (Alice Braga). Frey convinces Max to get her daughter, Matilda, who is suffering from leukemia to Elysium to use the Med-Bay.
Eventually, Max rendezvous with Spider and discovers he has the reboot program for Elysium in his head, which is capable of making all Earthlings into Elysium citizens. Max turns himself in to Kruger and is transported to Elysium, along with Frey and Matilda. What exactly does Max have in mind? Will he be able to overcome the powers that be? Or will his he be killed, before he can help all those on Earth?
All in all, Elysium has a very complicated backstory, which is obviously derived from many sources. The acting is well enough and can’t really be criticized. The action, which is found throughout the film, is certainly fun and amplified by the amazing CGI.
However, the story seems to lacking in terms of character develop from the viewer’s standpoint. Although the movie was a thrill ride, there wasn’t really anyone to cheer for. Max was barely introduced and he seemed to care about nobody, but himself. Finally, near the end of the film, the writers threw in the Frey/Matilda angle, which felt like lazy writing honestly. There was no build up for this and it was simply a poor attempt to give viewers a reason to cheer for Max.
If you’re able to get over the painfully obvious political message in Elysium, which shouldn’t be too difficult for most, you’ll be able to enjoy some beautiful carnage thanks to amazing effects and CGI. However, you shouldn’t expect to be completely blown away or mesmerized by the film. It deserves a 6.5 out of 10.