Saturday, August 10, 2013


This summer's last hope for a thought-provoking action blockbuster is an infuriating letdown. It boils down to becoming the same drivel we've been experiencing all summer long. And what's worse: it hails from writer/director Neill Blomkamp of the Best Picture-nominated "District 9," a stunning example of sci-fi filmmaking. Not only is his follow-up feature underwhelmingly derivative, but it's a brash squandering of creative potential. The intention here is political, but it doesn't follow through.

What could've been a cautionary tale of immigration and one percenters doesn't delve into nearly enough detail of this world and how it works to create a truly stirring real world metaphor. Instead, it devolves into a grand gloss-over opting for generic, conventional action sequences. Actors (Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley) are wasted, most notably the sorely underused Jodie Foster as a severe-looking secretary of defense to the privileged planet.

In a recent interview, Blomkamp said, "I'm not even sure I'm a director." Maybe it was the pressure of big-budget Hollywood or the obsession of franchise, but something has certainly gone awry. "Elysium" is garbage.

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