Hollywood has been obsessed with dystopian sci-fi for a while now, and when you look at some of the great films to come from that genre, its easy to see why. However, Elysium will not be joining their ranks.
I was looking forward to Elysium as the concept was interesting and the people behind it had me excited. But it just didn’t pan out. Now, I did like the basic story. It strung everything together well and gave the main character Max motivation and importance through the plot points.
But the story is basically just an empty plot, and for dystopian movie the societal themes need to rise above the plot in order to make those movies worthwhile and meaningful. This does not. The overarching theme is the divide between the rich and the poor and the oppression of the poor by the rich. However, aside fro the basic set-up of the world, this isn’t actually explored much. We don’t really see much conflict between these two sides other than Jodie Foster’s character trying to keep the poor people out of Elysium. But even when Matt Damon and others are on Elysium, there isn’t much interaction with the high society living there.
But my biggest problem with the movie is the directing. I am not a fan of the directorial style applied here at all. Its too sporadic and jerky which creates a lot of awkwardness, especially with the performances. There are some awful offenders here, but the villain Krueger stands out as being just off. The moments he would act or deliver lnes felt jarring and took me out of the movie. There is also a character called Spider who is so terribly acted I had to shake my head. And surprisingly, Foster was even pretty bad, with some kind of disconcerting accent that always felt out of place.
So in the end I cannot recommend this film. I really didn’t like it. The visuals were alright and the technology they used was pretty cool. But the kinetic direction was mishandled and made everything … I guess annoying would be the best word. Oh, and the way everything wraps up at the end with a nice, neat bow didn’t make any sense either.