Saturday, 24 August 2013

Movie Review: Elysium

Elysium is a disappointing, poorly written, shallow, flawed sci-fi action thriller that chooses to emphasize on fast-paced action sequences and violent, gory death scenes than to explore, expand and develop the interesting sci-fi elements(very possible future for mankind - overpopulated, polluted and disease-ridden world) and socioeconomic problems (social class divide, inequality between the rich and poor, immigration, health care, oppression) presented in the film.

Most of the characters are poorly written (with the exception of Max of course) and not even stars who gave decent performances such as Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley or Jodie Foster can save this big piece of mess. Max's motive for entering Elysium is apparently due to his own selfish reasons, but had a sudden change of heart near the end of the film? How do you expect the audiences to vouch or feel for him? However, the CGI and the exosuits for Elysium and ruined cities on Earth are top-notch and beautifully rendered.

Furthermore, the climatic fight scene is shot using the shaky, fast-cut cam technique, which is confusing to watch and a huge disappointment. The film is a huge letdown considering his previous film, District 9 is such a great film.

Rating: 4.5/10

(Unless you don't care about the plot, character development, and you don't feel insulted by the numerous flaws in the film, you enjoy gory action scenes, then the Rating: 6/10)

Reasons why I give this film such a low rating (SPOILER ALERT, read the following ONLY after you've watched the film):

      Why I say that most of the characters are poorly written? Just to name a few:
  • -The character of Fray is extremely weak and she's just a damsel in distress, waiting to be saved by Max.
  • -What happened between Spider and Max that causes the latter person to be in jail for him for 3 years?
  • -Max's friend died so early without a single purpose or character development. Just like that.
  • -The other hired ex-agents are added to the film just to add more 'lackeys' to Kruger so he can do his job and provide more gory, 'cooler' fight scenes.
  1. Max mocks the robot police earlier in the film for fun, got injured and extended his parole in a god-forsaken place where it's polluted and disease-ridden? huh? Why Max would even do that in the first place?
  2. Why would the Defense Secretary willing to use such a volatile ex-agent to do her dirty work? Aren't there any other available skilled agents in Elysium? (Considering the fact that most human soldiers are loyal to her compared to the elected President)
  3. The exoskeleton suit is actually not required in the plot at all. The device to retrieve data from a person's brain is totally separate from the suit. They're just there for the sake of providing some gory, seemingly cool fight scenes. The pill given to Max earlier is clearly shown to be capable of temporarily stabilize his illness for a certain period of time.
  4. How do Spider and his crew managed to get pass Elysium's defense with so many officers and robots monitoring the place?
  5. A CEO of a corporation is asked to write an extremely important computer program to RESET the whole highly advanced defense system of Elysium, store the whole program in his brain (WITHOUT ANY encryption at all), only to be conveniently retrieved by Max?
  6. A president who doesn't have authority over the secretary of defense? Seriously? Then why you elect a commander-in-chief in the first place?
  7. It is not explained in the film as to why the rich so ignorant and unwilling to share advanced medical technology with the poor? Too expensive? Technology is never expensive when you can mass-produce them.Unbelievable.
  8. During the break-in, where are the robots? Aren't they all supposed to be there immediately to subdue the illegal immigrants?

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