Ahhhhhh...the season of DVD. A chance to catch up on everything you missed because you were too busy to get to the theater.
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS SO DON'T READ IF YOU CARE***
What I really wanted to rent yesterday was 2 Guns but alas, it was sold out at Redbox. So, I came home with Elysium, being the good science fiction people that I am...
Now, I generally do not read movie reviews because I am of the humble opinion that they SUCK. Well, except mine of course. So, what I'm saying is a may have a vague idea what a movie is about but I bring one home with an open mind.
So, Elysium takes place in the future. A future in which we have done the inevitable and screwed up our planet but unlike in Firefly where all these other planets get prepped for human habitation there is one massive space station that houses all the rich, happy people while everyone else gets to live on the now fucked up earth.
Being a District 9 type movie (same director) I was fully expecting all the moral questions of what happens in an elitist society, how expendable human life must really be, to what limits does power and the threat of losing it push people, etc. etc....
My initial problem with this movie is that it has been done. Many.Many.Times. There really wasn't anything new to the questions or any new spin on the answers. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and that is that. Matt Damon's character is the same guy that we see over and over. The anti-hero who just can't seem to stay out of trouble despite the fact that he half-heartedly tries. And they want you to care about him because deep down somewhere he has a heart, had dreams, really does have a soul.
And then there is the cool as a cucumber Jodi Foster character. Of course we are supposed to hate her! I mean, my gods could there be anymore of an (attempted poorly) extreme example of the contrast between the world of Elysium and earth? She wears crisp, white suits, her hair is cut short and is a perfect, molded to her head white-blond, the sharp edges of her facial structure even more accentuated by the hair and the clothes. This woman is cold and they want to remind you of that with each scene. So, why do I say attempted poorly? Because OMG the black and white extremes of this movie....blahhhhhhh.....OK, we get it. The rich and powerful have left earth and don't give a shit.
To make matters even more neat and tidy, Elysium has these machines that can cure any illness or defect. People have them in their homes, like MRIs or something. Got a broken leg? Just hop in and get all fixed up. These machines can fix other things too. Including cancer and someone getting their head blown half off. Ahhhhhhhh.....Well, of course they can. What a convenient well I can see where this is all going addition to our plot.
But, what bothered me most about this entire couple of hours of my life that I will never get back is that when the movie climaxes and our hero does what he is meant to do and all the unhappy little people of earth are now Citizens of the great Elysium I turn to the dog and say:
OK, so now we have a population problem on Elysium, the earth is still shattered and the guy that built the only place left is dead? All the little people of earth who have continued to excessively breed and kill each other have now been saved and are taking over the BRAND.NEW.BRIGHT.AND.SHINY.WORLD. They have overthrown the entire royal lot and....
I'm not saying there should always be answers in Sci Fi (or any movie). I'm not even saying there should be happy endings - although this movie definitely made an as Disney-like as you can get attempt at one, which is another reason it was uber annoying.
I'm just sayin....blaaahhhhhh. Yawn.
Escaping reality - one movie, book, fantasy at a time :)