Elysium **Trigg-I mean spoiler alert**

Saw this last night.

What did everyone think of it?

I thought that it failed a little because the bad guys were needlessly, pointlessly evil, but also because I don’t think it made the point it sought to.

You basically have an America which is a desolate wasteland where everyone speaks Spanish and lives in poverty - a Malthusian future where swelling immigration destroyed America and forced the rich to build a safe-haven off world.

I think it was meant to be a story about the unfairness of inequality and closed borders, but instead it seems, bluntly, to be more a story which shows that closed borders are essential, but that aid to poorer places is a moral imperative.

What didn’t make sense to me was I found it it hard to believe that if the Medical Pods were easy enough to make that every house on Elysium had one that there would be absolutely none at all on Earth. I could see month long waiting lists etc. but Earth had functioning hospitals. You would think each Hospital would have at least one even if it was old and out of date.

I think it shows that Matt Damon, who is otherwise a fine actor and self-deprecating guy, is not somebody you want on your Halo team.

I really enjoyed District 9 for both its sly social commentary on segregation and the incompentent banal evil of bureaucracy, and the gratuitous blood-splattering violence. (The director’s commentary is hilarious; one moment he is talking about how devisive and class-segemented South Africa is, and the next he is going on about how they tried to find just the right consistency of water and meat to get a good splatter without too much splash.)

Despite the larger budget, big name cast, and ostensibly better visuals, I found the entire film to be underwhelming, and Jodie Foster (who can generally manage to elevate any film she appears in) to be terribly miscast and failing to carry some bizarre accent. After carrying the bulk of the movie in District 9] as a nebish, nepotistic bureaucrat who is way over his head, Sharlto Copley totally fails at being a menacing mercenary. The plot of the film seemed to have been written by nine year olds, and the dialogue wasn’t much better.

Overall, I found the film very disappointing; not a bad movie in comparison to other popcorn flicks, perhaps, but coming in with really high expectations the movie completely failed to clear the bar.


That got me too - it seems bizarre they didn’t at the very least have a pod-lottery or something.

The visuals were shiny. The story was… less so.

I know how district 9 was about apartheid, and this was about medical care and immigration, but the internal logic just doesn’t work out.*

*Nevermind stuff like surface-based rocket launchers with projectiles that can easily reach 6 times escape velocity, somehow.

Still heaps better than most other science fiction that came out this year, though.

It wasn’t just America. The entire Earth was a desolate, depleted, overpopulated wasteland. We are just shown a future Los Angeles that looks like a Sao Paulo favela. But the implication is the entire planet is like that (or desert). Ergo…the rich live in a space station.

There’s a lot wrong with the movie. Like if rich people build their own self contained space habitat, (which probably had a population of a few tens of thousands of people, why do they even have a moral obligation to the billions remaining on Earth?

It’s a story about wealth inequality, but it’s not done very well.

Forget about the medical pods - this was a world where space travel was so cheap, and so common, that an average crime boss can own and operate multiple space shuttles. If getting stuff into orbit is so easy, why weren’t there thousands of habitats up there?

I thought it was somewhat disappointing, because it was close to being good, but missed the mark. But I’d rather see a movie be ambitious and fail, rather than try to be mediocre and succeed. I enjoyed watching it, but I hope Blomkamp learns from the mistakes of Elysium and his next movie is better.

That’s what bothered me too. I was listening to the NPR Pop Culture podcast where they talked about Elysium, and they pointed out that technology has a trickle down effect. That the lower class will find ways to get their hands on older and cheaper versions of the things that the rich people use. This was true in Elysium for weapons, space travel, and communication technology, but not for the medical pods. It would have been better if they had some medical pods on Earth, but they were either ineffective or not plentiful enough or something like that. Or if it had been explained why they were deliberately kept off Earth for some reason. Having exposition to explain that might have been awkward, but it was also distracting why it wasn’t explained.

Also, the Elysium ship was beautiful, but I would have liked it to be a little more explained. That would have been easy enough to fix, there could have been a newly rich couple going through orientation where it’s explained what they get on Elysium, what protection they have from Earth, what the benefits are of citizenship or how they get revoked. Are there any long-term plans? Will there be room for all the rich people on Elysium in 100 years? Especially considering that they probably live longer than before with the medical pods. Are children of citizens automatically citizens of Elysium as well?

The ending seemed kinda stupid to me too. Now that everyone on Earth is a citizen, they can all use the medical pods, and everything is happy? How many pods are being sent down? Unless they send down several hundred thousand, it will take a while for everyone to be able to use them. Also, there must have been a reason that Elysium kept the pods restricted before, are they just going to go along with this? Once a bunch of poor Earth natives come up to Elysium to live the giant houses and swim off the fancy beaches, I’m guessing the Elysium natives would find a way to keep the classes distinct again. It felt weird to have a happy ending, because I can easily envision a sequel where things are even worse for the people of Earth.

With all my nitpicking, I probably sound like I dislike it more than I actually do. I actually did like Elysium, but it’s not as good as the movie I had anticipated based on the commercials and it being from the director of District 9. I thought Matt Damon was pretty good, and I thought Sharlto Copley was great. It looked great too.

The medical pods bugged me too. Those poor people raids to Elysium were apparently fairly common, why not send a few pods down so the unwashed will leave you alone.

Also the shaky cam action gave me a headache.

Surely the uber-uber-rich will just leave for the Valhalla station, where the pods are even niftier and Ben Affleck ain’t welcome.

Because they don’t fucking deserve them duh! Why the hell should they give the Earth dwellers anything? Who cares if it might slow down the raids, it isn’t right dammit!*
*I’ve seen this attitude in real life SOOO MUCH I can believe some characters would think the same.

I saw this pointed out elsewhere. Earth is overcrowded with no infrastructure, then Matt Damon makes it so everyone can live forever. That going to work how? I suppose the rich people knew this and that’s the root cause for not helping out.

It’s not just med pods and “living forever”. Presumably, since they live on a space station, the people of Elysium have a lot better technology for managing and recycling resources and living a more self-contained lifestyle. Although we do see that the robots are manufactured on Earth, so Elysium isn’t 100% self-contained.

I think the implication was that the technology could be applied to Earth as a whole. Not just medical stuff, but infrastructure, resource management, energy and so on.

I’ll see the movie eventually, but I’m really posting here out of curiosity as to why the OP constructed the thread title as it is. What does it mean? Is the word supposed to be “trigger”, but is then cut off in a self-correction? I ask because I can’t look at the thread title without seeing my name. Mostly because, well, Trigg is my name.:slight_smile:

How come, in every dystopian future, as soon as the filthy rich leave the rest of us turn into feral, overpopulating criminals?

How long would it take Elysium security to re-re-program the computers so that they could go back to keeping the riff-raff on the planet? About 10 minutes is my guess.

The movie seemed like an expensive, shoot-em up, rip-off of the Star Trek TOS episode “The Cloud Minders” to me. Link

Saw it and thought it was OK but every moment with Jodie Foster on screen doing that weird fucking accent was cringe worthy. Neither my wife nor I could figure out why they felt they needed to give her some random smart Britstrallian accent for absolutely no reason. It was so distracting and jarring to hear. We also thought the characters were completely undeveloped. Not a single character had their motivations for why they behaved the way they did explained at all.

The halo planet was very well realized though.

The world building didn’t make sense in a literal way, but the movie worked for me on a metaphorical level. If you watch it as a fairy tale, I think it is enjoyable. Everyone becoming “legal” made me cry. It’s an exaggerated conceit, similar to the “valid” one in Gattaca.

I agree. The movie works better as a metaphor than a literal Sci Fi tale.

Re: the horrible accent. I would bet money Jodie Foster just did that on her own. The Director probably hated it just as much as everyone else did but she’s a Star so you just roll with it…

I quite liked Sharlto Copley’s sleazy bad guy, although was a bit indifferent to Jodie Foster. I was definitely getting bored by the second half of the movie. I saw it on Imax, but that really didn’t do much for the movie (note to studios, if you are going to do an Imax version, will you PLEASE dial back the shakycam.)

Its still an OK movie, nothing more. It’s a testament to how good D9 is that this movie can be soooo much worse, and yet still be OK.