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Elysium (2013) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 26 July 2013


Jay´s Review

Did you see "District 9?" I did. I found it audacious and memorable, so I've been looking forward to "Elysium" ever since I discovered Neill Blomkamp was the director. In this one, it is the year 2154 and only the rabble continues to live in squaller on a ruined Earth; the wealthy live on an orbiting space station called Elysium, where equality is the last thing on their minds.

On both habitats, the residents speak a polyglot of English, Spanish, French, and other assorted tongues. When the dialogue isn't in English, there are captions to help us out. (A person who speaks three languages is trilingual; two languages, bilingual; one language, American.)

Look at these actors:

  • * Matt Damon (The "Bourne" franchise) is Max, a former felon determined to meet the terms of his parole and stay out of jail. He has never forgotten his little playmate Frey, now grown up and a medico in the chaos of Earth.
  • * Alica Braga ("On the Road") is Frey; even though she's a doctor, the equipment to cure her daughter of acute leukemia is up on Elysium and she has no legal way to get there.
  • * Diego Luna ("Casa de mi Padre") is Julio, Max's loyal friend.
  • * Jodie Foster ("The Beaver") is Delacourt, the Frenchwoman in charge of security on Elysium. She takes her job very, very seriously.
  • * Sharlto Copley ("The A-Team") is Kruger, Delacourt's enforcer.

We see a large, capable cast. The horrific industrial accident that causes our hero to have radiation poisoning feels authentic and his subsequent medical treatment made me hide my eyes.

This is an R-rated actioner, so expect oodles of profanity and a lot of gun play, plus endless fisticuffs and blowie uppie stuff. There are no sweaty bodies but Damon can convey affection with just a crooked smile.

Of course we see almost non-stop Computer Generated Imaging...sigh...but the ramshackle vehicles, both land and air made me think of "Mad Max."

NOTE: Key bits of dialogue are difficult to understand, so if you have any hearing concerns, find a theater with closed captions or wait for the DVD.

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