I almost skipped Elysium, so bad were the reviews. I’m glad I didn’t though. Because while it’s not quite the same level of unexpected gobsmack as District 9, Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up film is nevertheless good, intelligent sci-fi.
Set in the year 2154, the world of Elysium features two classes of people: the very wealthy who live as “citizens” on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, environmentally ruined Earth of spent resources. Matt Damon plays Max, a labourer at a Romney-esque arms factory who’s given five days to live after an industrial accident that doses him with devastating levels of radiation. His only hope is to make it up to Elysium, where the medical care is free. Problem is, the benefits of Elysium’s citizenship are closely guarded and a psychotic killer (my old colleague Sharlto Copley in Full Boksburg) and Jodie Foster as a French bitch are both out to stop him.
The Earth of the future filmed in the slums and waste tips of Mexico City – which look and feel like 2154 is here already. Park-like Elysium filmed in Vancouver.