“Elysium”: In Review

“Elysium”

MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout

Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster

Running Time: 109 Minutes

Release Date: August 9, 2013

Science fiction / Action fans who will be heading out to the theaters tonight for the release of the highly anticipated “Elysium” should take note that there is a lot (a whole lot) of language and violence in the film. The storyline is decent and set in the year 2154 where the wealthiest of the wealthy have left planet Earth to live on a space station aptly named “Elysium” (which, in real life, means “a place or state of perfect happiness”). It’s a beautiful paradise. The homes are gorgeous, the landscaping is plush, and the society has developed a cure for aging and sickness. Paradise, however, does not make for a good plot and not everything is at is seems in the island in the sky. Elysium’s Defense Secretary Delacourt (played by Jodie Foster) is at odds with their President on how best to protect the space station from their growing problem of illegal immigration (Earth residents trying to escape the slums they’ve grown accustomed to on our home planet). Meanwhile on Earth…

Enter Los Angeles in the year 2154 where we meet Max, a convicted felon trying to live the straight life. Society 141 years from now is not a place you would want to be. The air is bad, access to proper health care is second-rate (at best), and the overall quality of life is far from ideal. It’s hard for many to appreciate life on Earth when Elysium, in contrast, is a living paradise. Nevertheless, many people plug away at their routine daily lives just trying to stay out of trouble. Max was one of those people until one fateful day when his life, and the lives of those around him, changed forever. The story follows Max as he attempts to break into Elysium and change the course of history…forever.

The role, which is so vastly different from anything I’ve ever seen Damon play before, was what caught me off guard the most. His character isn’t your traditional, noble hero. He’s a rough, seemingly self-serving character who inadvertently ends up being heroic. It’s well done and it’s enjoyable but seeing Matt Damon in that particular role was just not my cup of tea. For that reason, I give it the following rating:

On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is the worst, 5 is the best, and 10 is the worst again: I give it a 8.75 with an emoticon sub-raking of “hmmm” face.

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