Over the weekend, I went and watched Elysium, the latest from Neil Blomkamp, the director of Best Picture Nominated District 9. Matt Damon took the lead role after two rappers turned it down, most notably Eminem. Eminem wanted to film it in the dying city of Detroit. When the deal couldn’t get made, he left the film. Unfortunately, Damon signed on, and this absolute waste of time was still made.
Elysium refers to the city in space built by the rich. The rich have migrated there to live ever since the environment on Earth has reached an all-time low. So, of course the inhabitants on Earth are the poor dirty people that work in factories that support the rich. The people still on Earth pay lots of money to try and get on a shuttle that will take them to Elysium. On Elysium, they have beds that can heal humans of pretty much anything, including aging. This seems like a terrible idea since part of the reason the rich left was over-population. This is only the tip of the “bad science” iceberg of Elysium. So, the sick and injured poor pile into shuttles that have stolen access codes that will hopefully allow them to get through the automatic defenses of Elysium.
Down on Earth, one such factory grunt is Max (Damon). He works at a factory that builds robots for the rich businessman John Carlyle (William Fichtner). We are not really told what these robots do, but we see some similar robots as bodyguards, police officers, and servants. For some reason, they must be irradiated. During his shift, Max is exposed to a lethal dose of this radiation. Max goes to Spider (Wagner Moura) for a ticket to Elysium. Of course, he has no money. So, Spider puts him on a mission to steal information from a rich Elysium resident, and apparently any will do. Max picks Carlyle.
Up on Elysium, the Defense Minister Delacourt (Jodie Foster) is leading a coup to take over the Presidency, and she has hired Carlyle to help her by writing a reboot code for the space station. He does this, but this is when Max, now in a super suit, and some of Spider’s cronies, hijack Max’s shuttle. This is also when the film becomes a remake of Johnny Mnemonic. The reboot code is uploaded from Carlyle’s brain into Max’s. Delacourt sends ex-Agent now mercenary Kruger (Sharlto Copley) and his team to apprehend Max. Now, Max must try to get to Elysium before the radiation kills him while being hunted by Kruger. There is also a stupid storyline about Max’s old best-friend Frey (Alice Braga) who is a nurse, and her daughter that is dying of leukemia. But, like I said, it is stupid and pointless.
Elysium, flat out, is a dumb movie that did not need to get made. It is just a 110 minute waste of time and money. Matt Damon’s acting is bad, but that is not entirely his fault. The script by Blomkamp does him no favors. Yet, it felt as if Damon was trying to be Eminem in the role. At what time did Jodie Foster stop giving a shit about her career? Her role was terrible, and she was terrible in it. Copley’s Kruger is just an over the top maniac that spouts bad line after bad line. Braga’s character is there to serve a few “critical” parts in the script, but they just feel forced. During this onslaught of stupid, Blomkamp’s slo-mo choices only serve to slow down this already boring film. One time in particular really bothered me. It happens when Kruger makes a jump over Max and company to block their progress. I actually laughed at this it was so stupid. I cannot convey to you how completely dumb Elysium is. Do not waste your time or money on this. Learn from my mistake.