Another true sci-fi film from a young aspiring director with lots of influences and predictable ideas, but top notch production.
Director: Neill Blomkamp | Stars: Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster
Budget: 115 million | Box office: 180 million (4 weeks)
It could be interesting to play a „spot ten things“ game comparing Elysium and a spring sci-fi film Oblivion. They are of course very different but at the same time really familiar in their development. Neill Blomkamp is flying high after huge success of District 9 and gets to make his epic dream sci-fi movie based on his own script. Of course the first film was also his, contrary to Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski, who had to start from „ordered“ work. But the downside is that people have much higher expectations and it would be really hard to imagine what could top the Oscar nominated District 9.
So to say short Elysium doesn‘t do that. It was obvious already from the trailer that the film goes the much more explored „save the dystopian world“ way. Sci-fi and especially anime fans must have seen this done numerous times and in numerous ways. Ordinary guy from ruined Earth must stand up to all powerful, wealthy and healthy inhabitants of orbital space station, who of course have some hidden problems of their own.
But the cool thing is that Matt Damon actually doesn‘t want to do that and his journey goes quite not as expected. Well, at least till the very end. The best thing about Elysium is that despite the general predictable idea and a bit too much of boring clichés and overly emphasised dramatic moments, there are lots of amazing and unusual scenes where the uniqueness of his style and influence of District 9 shines. All the not so cool ideas (like typical underused role of Jodie Foster) are balanced out by some great stuff, like brutally intriguing performance by District 9‘s Sharlto Copley.
It‘s also very easy to overlook some a bit annoying things because of sheer size and production quality in Elysium. And this time he did it without any mentor‘s help or WETA digital muscle. But he made good use of three times bigger budget than D9. That‘s reason enough to watch the film on the big screen – there can‘t be too much such high profile sci-fi movies. Hopefully more to come from Blomkamp, Kosinski and other young brave guys!