Elysium

  • elysiumVisuals are stunning. Elysium is an artistic masterpiece, both from without when you see the spinning wheel of meritocracy and from within when you see the lush setting. The stripped down and barren Earth is equally well conceived as a visual and artistic location.
  • Unfortunately, I have very little else to say about this picture that is positive.
  • Writing is unremarkable. The villains are over the top and/or over-simplified. The heroes are little more than clichés with cliché motivations and “character” paths. Which is to say the characters offer next to no depth and in turn fuel an entirely predictable plot to . . . well . . . predictability. Damon’s Max’s path is the worst of them, insofar as it is obvious from the moment he receives his radiation poisoning and has the singular motivation of not dying.
  • Acting is equally unremarkable. Damon is solid enough, doing just enough of what makes a Matt Damon character to make Max marginally likable. But Damon breaks no new ground. Much like Will Hunting, Max is capable of more than he realizes but he’s selfish and unguided. The villains (Foster and Copley) are either bland (Foster) or over the top (Copley). Both are hard to care about.
  • The allegory is too obvious and, much like A Dark Truth’s, not fully explored. If you want to make a message film, fine. Dive into the message, because you need do more than scratch the surface of it if you expect to inspire anyone.
  • Final Grade: D

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