I’ve just seen Elysium at the cinema…
The Good: Let’s start by saying it is visually stunning! Earth is now a sprawling shanty town with people living hand to mouth. In contrast Elysium is futuristic, high-tech, clean and inhabited by the ultra-rich. The shots of Elysium in space are great. That’s what sci-fi films should be all about. The scenes on earth have a very real quality about the special effects and are very reminiscent of District 9, which is hardly surprising as it’s the same writer/director. The contrast between Earth and Elysium is very striking and works well. There are some robots that remind me of the old units in I Robot, except these ones have a serious attitude problem. All this makes for some very nice stuff I would like to see again.
The Bad: The characters are really weak and lack consistency. They just don’t have a proper identity and it is hard to really give a crap about them. They throw in a sick child for a sympathy vote, but it lacks anything that really makes me attach with the characters. Admittedly, the “rich verses poor”, “them verses us” thing does get to a working class boy like me, so I naturally wanted all the rich people to die.
The Ugly: At times it really goes overboard on the shaky camera crap, which just bores me. There are a few very odd scenes where they quickly cut between long distance clean shots and shaky close-up crap, which is really quite strange. I would have expected someone at the studio to notice it looks really stupid, but apparently they didn’t. Perhaps it’s art, or something like that. A few of the fight scenes degenerated into Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, which did nothing for me.
So believe it or not, I actually did enjoy the film, but there were lots of flaws that could have been fixed quite easily to make it amazing. Such a pity! Of course, I’m probably wrong because I heard the guy sitting next to me tell his girlfriend/wife, “That’s the best film I’ve ever seen!”