by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
Elysium takes place in a future where we have pretty much destroyed Earth and the rich have moved to a space station called Elysium above the planet where they have recreated their perfect lives with fancy homes and pretty much a replication of the world they once knew. They also have the technology to heal any injury or disease so they live long, happy lives.
The poor live on an Earth that now resembles the poorest parts of the planet–run down homes, overpopulation, filth, and disease runs rampant. The only real work seems to be working on plants owned by the wealthy where they are treated horribly, unless you are lucky enough to work in medicine.
Frey (Alice Braga) and Max (Matt Damon) are orphans who become very close, and Max promises her someday he will take them to Elysium. Jump ahead to an adult Max who got involved in crime and is now on parole working for the plant. A tragedy happens at work and he is left with only days left to live, so he becomes determined to do whatever it takes to get to Elysium so he can be cured. He again meets Frey who is a nurse and has a dying child–she too is desperate to get her child to Elysium.
Like has been typical of science fiction for as long as I can remember, there is of course a message to this movie. A message about saving our planet, about how medical cures shouldn’t be available only to the rich, and the biggest message I saw was about immigration and the haves and have nots. Personally, scifi having a message is something I like about it–I feel perhaps sometimes we need the reminder of what “could” happen, or of what might already be happening right now. I know many see movies like this as nothing more than propaganda–which sure it may be a certain amount of that as well, but if you watch movies like this and that’s all you get out of it, I think that’s a shame. I also enjoy seeing the underdog triumph.
That being said, Elysium was just okay. There was a LOT of violence in it, so if you don’t like violence skip this one. I did enjoy it, Matt Damon did a fine job, but to be honest it failed to reach me with its message to the same degree that better scifi movies have. But if you enjoy scifi, and don’t get offended by what you consider propaganda, and you’re okay with violence and head out to see Elysium. Or better yet–just wait for the DVD.
Elysium is not currently playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6, but several other movies are. Showtimes can be found on their website. Platinum Theaters Dinuba 6 now proudly presents digital quality films in 2-D and 3-D with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound to maximize your movie experience.