Romy Shiller

Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page


In Film, review, sci-fi on August 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm


Movie Synopsis: In the year 2159 two classes of people exist. The very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes, a hard government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

I was just going to provide some background and not discuss the film at all because it’s not out in the UK yet but this is a film review and while I won’t give anything away I’ll address certain elements.

It’s important to know that this is an action flick. I was all set for a complex story about class inequality. That theme is obviously there but it’s not the focus. The trailer was deceiving on that count – yup. Think bam or boom and you’ll be close.  Social issues such as financial inequality, immigration and healthcare are right at the forefront of the latest from South African director Neill Blomkamp. But it’s no weighty drama; much like in Blomkamp’s first film, District 9, those issues are part of a futuristic sci-fi action story designed to fit right in with other summer releases.


Neill Blonkamp’s first movie, District 9, was a sardonic, gut-punching masterpiece. His new movie, Elysium, is just a crazy over-the-top action movie. There’s none of the depth or complexity of District 9, but there are cyborgs punching each other in space. And that’s awesome.


Matt Damon who plays Max Da Costa is the Star and he’s good. Jodie Foster who plays evil Secretary Delacourt is a Star but she’s bad.

Damon, as he’s proved time and again, makes for a wonderful protagonist. He’s an Everyman who’s also extraordinary, a combination that few can pull off like Damon can. His experience as Jason Bourne pays off handsomely, as his action skills are never in question.

Foster is not as successful. Whether it’s her choice of accent or just an underwritten role, she’s never convincing.

As a matter of fact, someone I went with said Foster seemed disconnected from her role. A review I read says, “Jodie Foster plays Madonna playing Margaret Thatcher…” and “In a movie where Matt Damon is doing his best to be down-to-earth while running around in a big metal exosuit and jumping out of spaceships, it’s even weirder how over-the-top Jodie Foster gets with her role. Pretty accurate, I think.

The soundtrack by Ryan Amon, who was found on YouTube, reminded me of the film Inception.A few years ago, musician Ryan Amon was living in Santa Cruz, Bolivia with his wife and working on scores for movie trailers when he got a single-sentence message out of the blue with a very cryptic question — “Is this you? — and a YouTube link. The link went to one of Amon’s early tracks and the email was from Neill Blomkamp,

So should you see this film? Yes, I‘m curious to know what you think. For me, it was a disappointment.