'Elysium' Review

Updated on April 4, 2019

Elysium is a 2013 science fiction action film produced, written, and directed by Neill Blomkamp. It stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga, and Sharlto Copley.

In the year 2154, humanity is sharply divided between two classes of people: The rich live aboard a luxurious space station called Elysium, and the rest live a hardscrabble existence in Earth's ruins. His life hanging in the balance, a man named Max agrees to undertake a dangerous mission that could bring equality to the population, but Secretary Delacourt vows to preserve the pampered lifestyle of Elysium's citizens, no matter what the cost.


Elysium was very disappointing to say the least. I was not a fan. I was expecting so much more from this film. I thought the world building, the setting, and the atmosphere was all done very nicely, but everything else just felt so flat to me. The characters, the development, and even the plot itself just felt so flat, and I really didn't like any of it.

Elysium had a beautifully crafted world, but once the film was over I realized that it was all for show. All this film really had was visuals, other than that there wasn't much.

These characters were all so shallow. They hardly got any development. I thought the main military villain was awful. Even with almost no development I thought Jodie Foster's villain was compelling enough, but that military villain was terrible. Both the character and his the writing really took away from the film.

This was a film that I was really disappointed by. Great visuals and a beautifully crafted world ultimately get wasted by a sub par plot, at times lazy writing, and poor characters.

Elysium really disappointed me.


I thought the acting was solid. I really like Matt Damon and this film was no exception. If you take in account that he somehow found a way to make a decent hero with very little material to work with and his performance looks even better.

I also like Alice Braga and she did a fine job, but her character felt so wasted. In terms of emotion she was definitely the one that I felt for the most, but up until halfway through I forgot she even existed. Her character felt more like a plot device than anything.

I liked Jodie Foster and I thought she had the best character. Again her character didn't get much development, but she was compelling enough to keep me interested. I really thought she played the part well.

Sharlto Copley had a truly terrible character so I can't really fault him. I also liked Spider, but other than that the rest of the characters were completely disposable and throwaway.

Again the acting was solid especially given that most of these characters weren't interesting and very 2- dimensional.


The plot was relatively simple and straight forward, but I didn't think it was very effective.

I thought the first 10 minutes were great. They came in and build up this world in a very effective way and they also managed to develop two characters in the process, but after that it really goes down hill. While watching you really don't notice, but once the film is over it just hits you.

It's a very linear and personal story, try I never ferny that connection towards Matt Damon's character. This plot has been done so many times before, but a whole lot better.

They introduced new things halfway through the film, and it was only for the sake of the plot. That was one of my biggest problems. There was just so many plot devices used throughout the film.

Another thing was that there were so many characters they wanted you to care about, but they never took the time necessary to build the character. Because of that so many moments just fall flat.

A relatively simple plot was messed up by plot devices and ineffective characters. The film ask so much from you, but they do little in return. There were a few plot holes, and a ton of plot device that made a simple story crack under all that pressure.

Even with a strong foundation the plot wasn't very effective and ultimately gets wasted.


Elysium really disappointed me. Beautiful visuals and great CGI gets wasted by bad underdeveloped characters and a plot that never really gets off it's feet.

This film really wanted you to feel for these characters, but they don't do anything to help you along the way. Other than the visuals there's nothing memorable about Elysium.

I was expecting a lot more from this film. Even if it wasn't great I'd liked to at least have some sci-fi popcorn fun, but this film didn't even do that.

Elysium was a huge disappointment.

2 stars for Elysium

© 2019 Royce Proctor


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