This American science fiction film tells of a destitute Earth, and an area for the privileged and elite, called Elysium that orbits in space above it.
The film is written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, who brought us District 9 (2009). Scenes on earth were shot in a garbage dump in the slums of Mexico, while the scenes for Elysium were shot in the affluent suburbs of Mexico City and in Vancouver.
Elysium is reserved only for the very wealthy, which provides every conceivable luxury, and has special advantages for its citizens such as instant cure for any disease they have through special healing bays installed in every house. Those who are not on Elysium live below it, surrounded by desolation and disease. The governors of Elysium enforce any law that preserves the lifestyle of its citizens, even to the extent of destroying disabled spaceships carrying refugees from Earth which try to land. Elysium doesn’t want to relinquish control in any way of its borders, or reverse the class distinctions that it has established to guarantee its future.
Max DeCosta (Matt Damon) lives on Earth, struggling to understand the injustices of his world. As an adult ex-convict on parole he works in an industry assembly line that is monitored by robot drones, and an accident exposes him to a severe dose of radiation. The cancer he gets from the radiation gives him only five days to live, and he knows that his only chance of survival is to reach Elysium. He can’t meet Elysium’s draconian anti-immigration laws.
This is an intelligent sci-fi movie which probes very plausibly a piece of the possible future. It dramatically raises major social and political problems of today, but its pursuit of the ever-popular theme of action-violence keeps it away from looking at them too closely. This film plays seriously around the contemplative edge of very good science fiction. Its social commentary is disturbingly contemporary, and it is a movie smart enough to be highly involving as well - Peter Sheehan, ACOFB
Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, and William Fichtner. Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Rated MA15+. Restricted. (Strong bloody violence). 109 min.