Elysium: It’s no “District 9”

One of the most anticipated movies of the year came to theaters this summer, full of high-tech science-fiction action. “Elysium,” directed by Neill Blomkamp, the same writer and director for “District 9,” is another beautiful movie. This film, with its incredible CGI and intense action sequences, had a great opening weekend of $29.8 million. In Elysium, the year is 2159 and humanity is divided between two factions: the poor, diseaseridden inhabitants of the overpopulated Earth, and the super-rich who live in a luxurious space station called Elysium. Max, a lowly factory worker played by Matt Damon, agrees to undertake a dangerous mission that will hopefully lead to the equality of the population after his life expectancy is dramatically shortened.

Now, I was always a fan of “District 9.” The beautiful grungy look of the film and the welldeveloped story kept me thinking about it days after the movie was over. I wish I could say Neill Blomkamp did it again with “Elysium,” but I wasl rather disappointed. The story could have been more developed with all of the great characters involved in the film. Damon played his character well, but I never felt a real connection with him. I felt all of his motivation at the beginning of the movie was lost and his character never showed a true transformation. Whether it was the story or the acting, I just wanted more.

Kruger, played by Sharlto Copley, is one of the film’s antagonists and a very interesting character. However, he is introduced too quickly without enough explanation. Sharlto played Kruger as a cross between an ex-special forces operative and “The Joker” from “The Dark Knight” trilogy. I think that Sharlto made an excellent villain and would love to see him go farther as a character in moremovie.

Although this film lacked the detailed story of “District 9,” it’s still a good movie. The intense action and beautiful special effects kept me wanting more. The futuristic weapons and medic beds made me wish I was born 150 years later (only if I lived on Elysium) and I was on the edge of my seat in every firefight, completely sucked in to the intensity of the scene. If Blomkamp ever decided to take his character in a different direction and make a video game or two, I would definitely buy it.

Elysium has its ups and downs: story is lacking, but the action is great; the acting by the protagonist is so-so, but the villain is extremely well done; the special effects are amazing, but I really wanted more. This movie could have been a contender for the summer’s biggest blockbuster, it but failed to deliver a story like “District 9.” I usually wouldn’t suggest seeing a movie with a underdeveloped story, but the action and technology is just too good. I give this movie a B+. See it at the Procrastinator, Nov. 11 thru the 14.