Morally sound, but a let-down

Morally sound, but a let-down


Elysium Movie_L
Photo: AP
Many might think the latest action thriller Elysium is just another other-worldly sci-fi. But South African-Canadian director Neill Blomkamp insists it's based on real life and inequality.

In 2154, the world is divided into two classes: those who lead happy lives on space station Elysium; and the poor, who live on a filthy, overpopulated Earth. The second-class Earth-dwellers are not allowed to set foot on Elysium.

Following an industrial accident, former car thief Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) is exposed to excessive radiation; his only chance of survival is the healing machine on Elysium. In exchange for a flight, he helps people-smuggler Spider (Wagner Moura) steal Elysium's top secrets. It turns out these secrets could free every poor person on Earth - and so, Max now has a price on his head.

In the first few epic flyover shots, we immediately feel Blomkamp's presence. His mastery in creating obviously fictional yet realistic backdrops was seen before in District 9.

While the film does a good job of portraying an imaginary world of inequality reminiscent of South Africa's apartheid, Elysium may have been too ambitious a project; the storyline falls flat and the action scenes are a bit dull.

But you don't watch a Blomkamp film to watch Damon dodge bullets - it's all about his political statements.

YP Rating: 3/5

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