movie review | New science fiction movie Elysium

Now in U.S. theaters and in IMAX
August 5, 2013 by L. Stephen Coles

Elysium space colony (credit: Sony Pictures)

The science-fiction movie Elysium opens in theaters and IMAX in the U.S. on Friday, August 9. The ostensible bionics (exoskeleton technology) and special effects for this film are mesmerizing.

The folk who live on the space station Elysium appear to have eliminated poverty, war, illness (including cancer), and possibly death.

The unfortunate folk who remain on Earth have all of these problems in spades and worse. Recall the Los Angeles dystopia in the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner with Harrison Ford, in which the wealthy work for the Tyrell Corporation and live the good life.

Plot

Intelligent robot official (credit:Sony Pictures)

In the year 2154 (well past our presumed “Singularity”), the very-wealthy and privileged classes live on Elysium, a toroidal high-tech space station governed by President Patel (Faran Tahir), in a utopian setting that includes access to private medical machines that offer instant cures, while everyone else lives below on an overpopulated, disease-ridden, ruined Earth.

Los Angeles has become a third-world slum. Those who maintain Elysium will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve their citizens’ lifestyle, even destroying ships that attempt to arrive there.

“Cancer cells removed” (credit: Sony Pictures)

After an industrial accident leaves him with a cancer virus, 36-year-old factory-worker Max De Costa (Matt Damon) has only five days to go from Los Angeles to Elysium in order to be cured. Max straps into a powerful exoskeleton and attempts to kidnap a rich businessman (William Fichtner) in order to steal his identity and hijack his way into Elysium. This pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her violent secret police forces (droids), led by Agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley).

Check out the stunning Sony Pictures movie trailers.

UPDATE: On its opening weekend, Elysium garnered the No. 1 slot at the U.S. Box Office with a $30.4 million gross. — LSC 08/12/13

Dr. Coles is a Co-Founder and Director of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group and Director of the Supercentenarian Research Foundation.