Elysium ** – Movie Review by Michael E

Elysium: Looking to unite two worlds, one man will make this happen despite the odds.
The rich (Jodie Foster) vs. The poor (Matt Damon) square off

Elysium (2013) – Michael E’s Review: ** Stars
Runtime: 109 minutes
Rated: R
Director: Neill Blomkamp

I became a fan of Neill Blomkamp’s since his 2009 smash “District 9.” I was eagerly anticipating his next movie, “Elysium,” which was finally released four years later. The coming attractions looked phenomenal, so, naturally heading into this film, I was ready to begin the journey. What followed was a slew of disappointments as the acting became disjointed, some scenes moved too fast, the story became a bore and, frankly, it took this critic on a ride that I never recovered from.

Set in the year 2154, only the wealthy live on the space station Elysium. It’s guarded by Secretary of Defense Delacourt (Foster, who’s accent slips more times than a snowman on fire). Her job is to ensure the safety of its inhabitants. The diseased are always cured and it’s a wonderful place to live. The poor live on Earth, as it’s been ravaged and reduced to almost nothing. Ruthless robots police the area and try to restore order. Max (Damon), an ex-con, is one of the inhabitants on Earth, and has always wanted to find a way to live on Elysium. After an accident leaves Max with only a certain number of days to live, he will stop at nothing to get to get there.

Matt Damon stands out as Max. His timing and knowledge of acting is so apparent. He delves into his performances and emerges a winner. I did enjoy his character, as it’s been a while since he played this type.

Quick rant: The overacting award goes to Jodie Foster, as her character was a French woman. I am a huge fan of Foster’s older material, but lately, she’s getting stale. Her accent was so off- kilter, it made me laugh. Every time she opened her mouth, I couldn’t tell if it was French, American, pigeon English, etc.. She ruined the movie for this critic, and I was glad when it finally ended. Stay tuned!

As for my cohorts:

“Damon’s everyman workhorse is tragically sympathetic, plodding ahead against all odds. Copley is brilliant as the sadistic villain.” Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.

“Decidedly more thought-provoking than most big-studio summer fare.” Claudia Puig, USA Today.

“I wish that the film had more of the tasty futuristic detail promised by that dummy parole officer. I also wish that Blomkamp took us deeper into the world of Elysium.” Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly.

“Like District 9, an allegory of apartheid that took four Oscar nods and put Blomkamp on the map, Elysium delivers sci-fi without dumbing it down. It’s a hell-raiser with a social conscience.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

“Although the pulp energy that Blomkamp brings to this material makes it consistently watchable, the film doesn’t feel as singular as we would have hoped.” Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.

Michael’s rating system:
1/2 Terrible movie (Bomb)
Not a good movie, just missed being a bomb
*1/2 Bad movie
** Boring movie
*** Good, solid movie
***1/2 Great movie, just missed being a classic
****Classic movie

Movie Review by Michael E on Actors Reporter, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.