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Elysium is more notbuster than blockbuster, and a disappointing follow-up from Neil Blomkamp to District 9

And so we enter the final days of summer and of the summer blockbuster. And what a rum deal we've been dealt.

Columbia TriStar
The Wolverine, Man Of Steel, RED 2, The Lone Ranger and After Earth all failed to thrill and now, as the season ends, it's bookended by Neill Blomkamp’s disappointing follow-up to the brilliant District 9.

While by no means a terrible film, Elysium is just an uninteresting one – a notbuster, you could say.

In 2154, with the world ravaged by pollution and overpopulation, the richest now live in orbit on Elysium, a luxurious space station run by Jodie Foster's icy commander. But while free of poverty and disease, political machinations threaten the peace and security.

Meanwhile, back on terra firma, Matt Damon's factory worker is given just five days to live after being exposed to radiation during an industrial accident.

With little to lose, he enters into a Faustian pact with a local criminal (Diego Luna) that sees him fitted with a strength-enhancing exo-skeleton and sent to Elysium looking for a cure.


Visually, it shares the same DNA as District 9 with Earth a sweltering, trash laden and dust-caked hell hole while Blomkamp’s pet theme of the haves and have-nots is very much to the fore.

Rather than critiquing Apartheid like last time, the focus seems to be Nazi Germany, with Elysium's residents recognisable by a barcode on the wrist.

But there the intelligence runs out as the action kicks in and, while there’s a slew of impressive gunfights and chase scenes, there’s little here we haven’t seen a million times before.

While well staged, they look an awful lot like the Mass Effect and Dead Space video games. Not helping matters is the fact that the villains, namely Foster and a badass played by Sharlto Copley, look as if they belong in a pantomime.

Ever since Blomkamp came out of nowhere with District 9 in 2009, there’s been a huge – and unfair -- weight of expectation. Casual fans will enjoy the film but for everyone else this is a major disappointment.

* Elysium is released in UK cinemas on Wednesday, August 21 - cert 15, running time 109mins

Source: Mirror

Mahabubur Rahaman

Interested in eCommerce, Marketing, Social Engineering, Serial Entrepreneur, UX, Music, Blog. Writer at @Techinasia @Medium and http://wjarman.com