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'Elysium' Review: An Exciting Sci-Fi Film That Actually Makes You Think

Two Jews On Film Two Jews On Film
August 9th, 2013 7:00am EDT

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Neill Blomkamp, writer and director of the critically acclaimed, 'District 9,' once again brings us a thought-provoking Sci-fi, fantasy, action film.

'Elysium' starring Matt Damon, takes place in the year 2154.  Earth is polluted, overpopulated and crime ridden. The rich have long ago abandoned the planet for Elysium, an orbital space station that is a 19 minute shuttle ride away.

But those 19 minutes might as well be several light years away. The space station is protected by a killer security force run by Jodie Foster, who will do anything and everything to keep Elysium safe for the wealthy.

Matt Damon plays Max, an ex-con on parole, who lives and works in Los Angeles, which is now a ghetto.  That's right folks, the homes of the 'rich and famous' are now a thing of the past - and I don't think Universal Studios is conducting any more tours in the city of Angels.

Max is just an ordinary guy trying to do the 'right thing.'  He's put his days of stealing cars behind him.  His time is now spent working at Armadyne, a corporation specializing in defense.  Important to note: The Company is run by John Carlyle (William Fichtner) a man who cares about 3 things... Money, money and more money.

Okay, back to Max...who winds up having an on-the-job accident.  He gets a lethal dose of radiation and finds out from a robot (seriously, a robot) that he only has five days to live.

Max is not at all thrilled with the news and decides his only chance to survive is on Elysium.

It seems that every home on the space station not only comes equipped with a washer and dryer, but also has a machine that can heal any disease in seconds. Only catch is you must be a 'citizen' of Elysium for the machine to work.

So since Max doesn't have the billions it costs to become a 'citizen' of Elysium, he has no choice but to contact some of his old criminal buddies, including...

Spider (Wagner Moura), a very creepy dude who helps illegal immigrants get to the space station (which unfortunately doesn't always turn out too well).

He's also quite adept at turning people into Cyborgs (which comes in handy for Max) but that's all I'll say on the subject.  Don't want to spoil the fun and 'Elysium' is fun, a lot of fun.  It also has a great message and for a sci-fi film, that's rare.

Rounding out the cast is Alice Braga, who plays Frey a childhood friend of Max. She has her own reasons for wanting to get to Elysium. There is also Sharlto Copley (District 9'), who's excellent as the villainous Kruger - Jodie's pet operative/assassin.

I thoroughly enjoyed 'Elysium' which opens in theatres Friday August 9, 2013, and gave it 4 bagels out of 5. John however, had a different take on the film.  

Check out our video for his bagel score and for more of our musings.

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Photo Credits: Sony Pictures


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