Science Fiction and Matt Damon, there’s something we don’t see everyday. I’ve always enjoyed it when actors take on genres that they really haven’t explored. The casting of Matt Damon and the urge to watch Director Neil Blomkamp’s (District 9) next Science Fiction filmed got me interested in checking out Elysium. It was interesting to say the least.
Depending on how it is implemented, I am divided on the shaky cam effect in films. It’s useful in some films, such as 2011’s Chronicle. The film is centered on a teenager who carried a camera everywhere since he wanted to document his life. But in this movie, the shaky cam was unneeded and poorly used.
The fight scenes in Elysium were shaky to the point where I wasn’t sure what I should be concentrating on.The rest of the film’s cinematography was alright, nothing special really. It’s my personal preference that unless the story calls for it, shaky cam techniques should not be used in a film. And Elysium’s story did not call for it.
The message of the film itself was great, though I could see it being a bit too obvious for some people. I was personally fine with what the film had to say about poverty, equality and privilege. It’s great when a well written blockbuster has an important message, as hopefully the people who watch Elysium will become interested in the real world problems which the film addresses.
However, there was something missing from the story itself. Maybe the movie should had spent a little more time on Elysium. Neil Blomkamp created such an interesting world, but he just didn’t really explore it to the extent that I wanted him to. And at a running time of one hour and forty-nine minutes, there was definitely time to do so.
Matt Damon, who plays Max in the film, gave a strong performance. His character’s personal mission soon turns into one which would affect all human beings living in the poverty-stricken Earth, and Damon handles this change in motive very well. He makes us believe that Max truly did change from being somewhat selfish to being selfless.
The leading man from District 9, Sharlto Copley, was fantastic. He handles playing the merciless sleeper agent, Kruger, as if he was actually the bloodthirsty man we see on-screen. Jodie Foster’s role in the movie as Delacourt, was kind of wasted actually. I just found myself wanting more from her character. Delacourt was simply not developed enough. However she did give a good performance, in fact the whole cast played their roles up to a tee.
I couldn’t get enough of the set design, props and costumes in this film. The crew working in these departments added so much detail you would think that the futuristic weapons, exoskeleton suits and the sheer technology of the movie are devices we have access to today. The space station, Elysium, that the film revolves around was breathtaking.
I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed by Elysium, but I was definitely expecting more from the movie. Maybe it’s because I had high expectations from the director of District 9. I have a feeling that on repeat viewings, I may enjoy the film more. But don’t get me wrong. I liked the movie. It’s maybe too obvious message may turn some viewers off, but I recommend watching it all the same.