2154, and the Earth is in ruins brought on by over-population, pollution and disease. The wealthy have escaped this scourge, and live on a utopian space station, Elysium with strict anti-immigration laws to preserve their lifestyle.
Factory-worker and ex-con Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) receives a high dose of radiation in an industrial accident, and now has only days in which to get from the third world ruins of Los Angeles to Elysium in which to receive the medical treatment that will save his life. This he hopes to attain by kidnapping rich businessman John Carlyle (William Fichtner).
Max’s journey pits him against Elysium’s Secretary of Homeland Security Delacourt Rhodes (Jodie Foster) and her violent secret police forces, led by Agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley).
Matt Damon’s performance has the audience routing for him right from the start, and things get interesting when Sharlto Copley appears on the scene.
The filmmakers have given plenty of nods back to their South African roots (keep a look for the South African flag), and Kruger’s dialogue provides a bit of comic relief, balancing his evil demeanour. Kruger’s team feel like the ‘naughty boys’, set free and left to their own devices. Fellow South African Brandon Auret plays Drake.
The fight sequences on Earth are realistic, and keep to Neill Blomkamp’s signature of future weapons and vehicles fighting in urban ruins.
Elysium, a view to our possible future, with a plot that will keep you guessing.
View some space station concepts from NASA.