'Elysium': in the year 2154, spoilers are everywhere
Neill Blomkamp's Elysium is playing in theaters and our review is up! While we delved into the film, there's a lot we didn't cover because seeing the film for yourself is half the fun. If you've watched Matt Damon do his thing and want to dish on all the details, however, you've come to the right place. Put on your exo-skeleton and hit the comments below.
Warning: spoilers below!
I'm all for people having uncanny abilities in sci-fi films, and I'm all for the future world being some place that doesn't quite make sense to us. However, the notion of consistent internal logic — and aesthetics to a degree — is something that can't really be written off or ignored. It's what made The Matrix so good; yes, it was filled with the utterly fantastic, but the film created a universe where the scenario and its methodology actually felt believable.
We've seen Blomkamp create that kind of universe before in District 9. His gritty aesthetic demands a "realistic" treatment of the pseudo-science we see in his films. And despite the glorious visual presentation, it's where Elysium really falls down. When Spider looks at some random — supposedly encrypted — code pulled from Max's head, he instantly knows it will allow him to reboot Elysium and change all the rules. Max has pills that will supposedly make him feel better even after he's been hit with radiation poisoning... but they don't seem to work, and he needs to use an exo-skeleton instead. Until the end, when the movie needs to ratchet up the tension, and suddenly Max needs to take the pills again to keep himself together.
And then there's the ending.
I don't mind schmaltz. I can watch the ending of Armageddon, take it for what it is, and get on board that emotional rollercoaster. (Plus it's Bruce Willis, and John McLane dying is enough to make anyone well up.) But when Frey just happens to show up when Max breaks his arm in the beginning, and her daughter just happens to be dying, and when Spider just happens to fly right into Elysium even though Jodie Foster has said the station is at war, which well-wouldn't-you-know will let Matt Damon use the program in his head to save Frey's daughter... it gets a little tough to take seriously.
How did it play for you? And did you buy Spider's line that the medical pods won't be able to bring Max back?