Poor Execution Leads Elysium to its Death

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Elysium - Source: SFX.co.uk
Elysium – Source: SFX.co.uk

I LOVE any new science fiction that comes along, and having seen a few trailers for Elysium, I was excited to see what this new blockbuster had on offer. I’m a fan of the Bourne films (Matt Damon), I highly rate Jodie Foster as an actress and this was a genre that I’m extremely interested in. Surely, even if the film didn’t hit the movie high’s, I’d still enjoy it?

The concept of Elysium is pretty good. As Earth became overpopulated and polluted, the most wealthy residents of the world fled to Elysium; a circular space station orbiting the planet. Here, they have everything they want; riches, beautiful homes, fine dining, sport and even medical booths which will scan and cure any health problems. There wasn’t much mention of how this standard of living was sustained, but with robot enforcers back on Earth, I suppose they just took the resources they needed as there was no one to stop them. I liked the circular space station of Elysium itself because it tied in with engineering concepts that a circular and rotating space ship could create anti-gravity. ON the surface, this looked to be a great film. Unfortunately, whilst the concept was good, the execution was not.

One of my first annoyances was that the entire film seemed like Mass Effect fan fiction. From Elysium and the robots, to the soldier’s exoskeletons and even the font-type used on the space station, it seemed like a Bioware rip-off. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love a Mass Effect film – I would. But throughout the entirety of the movie, I couldn’t help but compare. I suppose this isn’t a problem for non-gamers, but it was for me.

Elysium Concept Art Source: i09.com
Elysium Concept Art Source: i09.com

Then came the bad acting. Jodie Foster wasn’t convincing as the rising political power at all. She was often wooden, though it’s fair to say she wasn’t exactly given a decent script to work with. The main villain of the movie was just horrible. Once again, a bad script didn’t help, but the villain wasn’t convincing as someone Matt Damon’s character would actually be scared of. The fight scene’s were not robust enough and even if the entire film was decent fight scenes, it could have made up for some of its failings. Meanwhile, whilst the space station of Elysium led the entire story, the focus was on Earth. They missed a trick. I wanted to see more of Elysium and how life was aboard the station, not be focused on some downtrodden Earth ALL of the time.

Unfortunately I can’t really think of many good points for this film. The concept was good and what we see of the space station is pretty cool. Had it been done well, Elysium could have been an epic triumph. It’s a shame that something new and fresh could have fallen so badly. But, for now, I think I’ll go back to watching Star Trek on repeat and playing Mass Effect.

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