Elysium is way more on the nose than District 9. Its sociological themes mixed with sci-fi elements aren’t nearly as creative as they could’ve been. Elysium is way more Hollywood than District 9 and director Neill Blomkamp himself didn’t like the final product. Elysium is actually the first R rated movie my brother and I saw by ourselves in theaters. I’ve been regretting it ever since, because any problem I had with Blomkamp’s harsh directing style is much worse in Elysium. In the year 2154, humanity is divided between the wealthy elite and the impoverished.
Elysium is a space station floating above Earth where the wealthy have unlimited access to Med-Bays that cure all diseases. The rest of humanity lives on a desolate Earth policed by robots. The most desperate humans risk their lives just to cross the invisible border into Elysium. The immigration and health care themes are obvious, making the choice of lead actor even more confusing. Blomkamp wanted to go with unconventional “actors” like Eminem or Ninja (more on him later), but instead he went with Matt Damon. Another Hollywood presence is Jodie Foster putting on a truly terrible undefinable accent as one of the heads of Elysium.
The only Spanish presence is Alice Braga trying to bring her character’s sick daughter to Elysium. Damon’s character Max is given 5 days to live after being exposed to radiation on the job. So he’s implanted with an advanced exoskeleton in order to break into Elysium himself. The only trace of Blomkamp’s South African roots is Sharlto Copley as the villain Kruger. An overly sadistic agent who guards Elysium with the rest of his drones. The constant danger involving children was a big reason why I couldn’t get into the story. Elysium has impressive futuristic technology, but that’s not enough to win me over with its execution.