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Elysium misses the mark behind showcasing important social issues

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By Anthony Dominguez 

Staff Writer 

[email protected] 

Neil Blomkamp’s “Elysium” explores social themes such as class issues and health care and while Elysium is ambitious in playing out these themes, it falls short in its execution. The setting of “Elysium” is that of a ravaged Earth where the only people that remain are lower class citizens who are too poor to live on the space habitat, Elysium; a modern day paradise possessing advanced technology. The story follows Max Da Costa (Matt Damon), a factory worker who finds himself with only four days left to live after a freak accident. While Damon does a job well done playing Max, the script feels highlights the ambiguity of his character. Jodie Foster plays it up as Jessica Delacourt; the secretary of Defense for Elysium. Foster does a wonderful job of bringing out Delacourt’s elements, but it’s a stereotypical character we’ve seen already. Alice Braga plays Frey Santiago, Max’s selfless childhood friend and Matt Fichtner plays John Carlyle, a wealthy business man without morals. These characters are interesting on paper but feel as if their only use is to move the plot forward for Max. Sharlto Copley plays Agent Kruger, an assassin working for Delacourt. Kruger is terrifying as much as he is a comedian. Copley holds the most presence onscreen with his performance being reminiscent of Tom Hardy’s in “Bronson”. Where “Elysium” falls short is in Blomkamp’s portrayal of social classes. The script paints anyone associated with Elysium as not being just, simply for the sake of doing it. Likewise, the citizens view their life unfair and believe it’s in their natural right to live on Elysium. It leaves one to questions why Elysium, with all the power possessed, chose not to assist those on Earth. While “Elysium” pales in comparison to its predecessor, “District 9”, the film still offers enjoyment to all. With the film, an interesting plot with engaging actors and wonderful pacing balances an average script out.

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