The gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" has widened significantly in this distopian science fiction film. The wealthy and powerful have moved off planet to a wheeled space station called Elysium, while the less affluent remain on an overpopulated and polluted Earth that has become a global slum. Think orbital Beverly Hills vs global Watts and you'll have the picture.
Elysium has a medical technology capable of healing almost any disease or injury. Hospitals on Earth are overcrowded and patients are turned away. An industrial accident leaves Max (Matt Damon) with only a short time to live unless he can get to Elysium and gain access to the technology there, but the the folks on the space station aren't sharing. Add a love interest, Frey (Alice Braga), a power-mad politician (Jodie Foster) and a crazy Aussie thug-for-hire (Sharlto Copley) to add complications, and you have the plot. In the end Max reaches his goal, but the victory, for him is Pyrrhic.
Elysium's plot is pretty thin, predictable, and formulaic. The violence is often gratuitous, and toward the end, the motivation for it becomes unclear. The writer and director passed up significant opportunity with secondary themes; most notably, they ironically have Max raised in a Catholic orphanage, but pass up the obvious chance to explore how the religious views on life and contraception, coupled with a medical technology that can heal anything would necessarily result in an overpopulated planet.
Overall, I'd rate this movie as average. Those who like violence in movies might like it, but even here, it doesn't rise to the current state-of-the art.
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