In the year 2154, there are two classes of people: the very wealthy, living on a clean, man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, living on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. A ruthless government official, the ambitious Defense Secretary Delacour, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. When the loser Max is cornered, he agrees to take on a difficult mission that, if successful, will not only save his life, but can also lead to equality of these polarized worlds.
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Neil Blomkamp returns four years after his high-profile film debut, which not only brought the creators a solid profit, but also received high marks from both ordinary viewers and film industry professionals. ‘District 9’ was quite original, ‘Elysium’, which received much more substantial financial injections, is original to a lesser extent – Blomkamp here follows the paths traditional for utopian fiction; but at the same time it creates a bright and memorable world, throwing all the powers of the imagination to work out its details. Considering that high-quality genre fiction does not appear on the screens so often, the film looks doubly attractive.
The action takes place in the not too distant future, in which the depleted Earth turned into one continuous dilapidated ghetto with an off-scale level of crime; and the “powerful” left the planet, creating a kind of elite “republic” on a huge orbital station, the name of which served as the title of this story. The beginning of the film relishes to its fullest the footage of the brown Earth slums and the constant migration of an impoverished population. After a short prologue about the hero’s childhood, the picture shows us the image of an adult Max played by the shaven-headed Matt Damon – a hero who seems to have decided to finally tie up with his criminal past; which, however, is unlikely to result in any significant benefit for him in the existing order of things. The plot paints a gigantic chasm between the two classes of society, making it clear that the elite of Elysium have done absolutely everything to “keep the working class in check.” The Earthlings here are a plentiful but cheap labor force, and none of the ruling elite seriously think about giving them any rights or powers. First of all, they do not have access to high-tech medical equipment that can solve any health problem – this can be seen as a kind of birth control method on an already overpopulated planet. From time to time, someone desperate makes sorties on illegal space transport to the satellite, so that, with luck, they can get to the medical capsule and improve their health, or the health of their child, so that later, after imminent deportation, they can live on the dying planet a little longer. Blomkamp consistently outlines all aspects of the society he invented; in some places, however, it is too schematic and straightforward. However, when, after watching, you start to dig deeper and check the entire presented concept for the presence of reasonable logic, you understand that there is practically nothing to complain about here. As in any action movie, here, in some places, there are small flaws with regards to the behavior of the heroes in a particular situation – but the general movement of the plot and the shown concept of the world do not cause complaints. But you shouldn’t think that all this social subtext somehow pulls the blanket over yourself. It’s just a skeleton (albeit a little more meaningful than the average genre) that here provides a solid foundation for mind-blowing visuals and furious action sequences. The director is not trying to read morals here; if only because the social motives are too obvious here, and they don’t feel like revelation. This is just one of the elements of the concept, and nothing more – and such an approach suggests that there can be no speculation on the topic here.
From the first frames of the picture, Neil Blomkamp gives an idea of himself as a talented artist – but the further his plot develops, the more clearly you can feel his love for the fantasy genre as such. There are many different elements that make you remember the real classics of the genre (from ‘Blade Runner’ to ‘Robocop’); including an almost ‘licked’ moment from the legendary ‘Total Recall’ with Schwarzenegger – and this is exactly the case when such ‘borrowing’ does not cause any negative emotions at all, but on the contrary, gives off warm light nostalgia. And all this despite the fact that the director in every possible way avoids comic and farce, without resorting to excessive irony. In this respect, this serious attitude is somewhat diluted by Kruger performed by Sharlto Copley – his dialogue with Max with the phrase ‘The weather is good for flights’ deserves a separate mention, of course. Copley here clearly created one of the most striking and winning images. As for Matt Damon – I, once again, want to take off my hat to this wonderful actor who can ‘read the script between the lines’ and bring genuine sincerity and personality to the image.
It is worth noting that the film starts off rather slowly – and at the beginning the spectacular picture clearly dominates the dynamics. Blomkamp’s ingenuity as a visionary is, of course, undeniable – but the concentration of action in the first half is quite negligible. Without any haste, all the heroes are introduced to us, and they show a plot, which, on good, should be competently distributed over a much more voluminous timing than the one we have. However, there is a confident movement forward with a gradual increase in drive and without any sagging; right up to an extremely rich and powerful ending. Well, and a special mention, as well as praise to the director, deserves the fact that the film does not look on its budget – it looks at least twice as expensive.
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Catalan: Dolby Digital 5.1
Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Hindi: Dolby Digital 5.1
Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Korean: Dolby Digital 2.0
Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish(Latin American): Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish(Castilian): Dolby Digital 5.1
Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1
Turkish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Ukrainian: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, English SDH, Catalan, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish.