I had high expectations going into Elysium. Some of them were met, some of them not so much. It wasn’t a bad movie, but the end left me unsatisfied. The friend I went with to see it turned to me afterwards and said, “How do you explain where that story line went wrong?” There wasn’t anything definitive to point to for causing the film to come up lacking, and yet, in the end, it was.
Elysium gives the audience a look into a grim future for planet earth. For those who can afford it, the trip to Elysium can mean the difference between life and death, as the habitat has sick beds with the ability to cure more or less any disease known to mankind. After Max (Matt Damon) suffers an accident and is given only days to live, he makes it his mission to get to Elysium and cure himself. Along the way, he runs into an old friend, Frey (Alice Braga), who he grew up with in an orphanage.
At first, I thought the problem with this movie was that they were trying to do too many things at once. There seemed to be several unrelated story lines occurring simultaneously. But by the end, all these pieces turned out being relevant and necessary. Still, I can’t help but wonder if there was a way for the writers to get to the same end result a bit more smoothly without so many individual pieces for the audience to have to keep up with.
As far as the acting, Matt Damon was everything you might expect from him in such a role (which was great). I enjoy his films. The worst thing about the most recent Bourne movie (The Bourne Legacy) was that he wasn’t in it. Damon makes an entertaining hero that is fun to watch as he takes down a whole gang of bad guys (even as he is dying). The acting I was least satisfied with came from Jodie Foster. She seemed to be struggling to get her lines out making it hard to believe her character was an actual person in this world.
On the whole, this movie was entertaining while it was going on, but I kept waiting for a moment of realization or growth within the characters that never really came. As a result, I left the theater with an unsatisfied feeling. Though I can’t put my finger on what exactly was off about it, this film just didn’t do it for my like I was hoping it would.