With an at-a-glance air of been there, seen that, but a conveyance that hits hard enough to knock the dust off those old conventions, Elysium is visually rich Sci-Fi armed with bloody-knuckled bravado.
And while Blomkamp’s writing is upstaged repeatedly by his mastery of visually stunning images, not to mention the powerhouse talents of Foster and Damon, the style and keen design from the man that brought us District 9 is boldly present. Blomkamp’s sans sugar-coated approach is refreshingly raw throughout the film, making no bones at all about the face-value fight taking place between the classes. Elysium acts less like a smartly written cautionary tale of class struggle though, and more like a beautifully adorned club the audience is continuously pummeled with. Everyone knows exactly what’s coming and it’s definitely going to hit hard, but oh my isn’t it pretty while it passes out the punches.
Blomkamp’s passion for design carries over into the extras menu, as many of the features spotlight Elysium’s visual prowess, from an interactive cache of production artwork in Visions of 2154, to an all too short In Support of Story: The Visual Effect of Elysium segment which covers much of the groundwork laid out to enhance the film. The three-part feature The Journey To Elysium offers a vast overview of the entire production, from early creative ideas and post production enhancements, to its globetrotting locales – both real and virtual – and cumbersome shooting schedule. The menu also skims the film’s wonderful toys in The Technology of 2154, spotlights the cast in Collaboration: Crafting the Performances in Elysium, and closes with Engineering Utopia, a supplement which provides a look at the practical mechanics behind Elysium’s imagined space station.
So if you like your Sci-Fi Tony Stark smart, the film may not receive its optimal marks. But if a hulking tale of clashing classes and oppressed masses gets you ready for action and excitedly aghast, then this film proudly shouts, Elysium smash!
GEEK Rating = 85%
Studio Synopsis: In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth.Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) will stop at nothing to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium – but that doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. Max (Matt Damon) agrees to take on a life threatening mission, one that could bring equality to these polarized worlds.
Running Time: 110 minutes
Number of Disks: 2
*Bonus Materials Exclusive to the Blu-ray Include:
- Extended Scenes
- Visions of 2154: An interactive exploration of the art and design of Elysium
- The Journey to Elysium:
*Envisioning Elysium: This pre-production diary explores all facets of pre-production
*Capturing Elysium: With production in Vancouver, Mexico, and on huge green screen stages, the challenge of filming was nothing short of massive. The filmmakers and cast discuss the journey through the film’s production
*Enhancing Elysium: This post-production diary explores the editing process
- In Support of Story: The Visual Effects of Elysium: An in-depth look at the process of shooting visual effects scenes and incorporating CGI environments and vehicles into those scenes in post-production
- The Technology of 2154: From independently functioning Droids to next-generation military tech that gives humans machine-enhanced power, get insight from the filmmakers on the technology of Elysium
*Bonus Materials Included on Both the Blu-ray and DVD:
- Collaboration: Crafting the Performances in Elysium: Meet the dynamic cast and get insight into how they prepared for their roles
- Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky: A look at designing and creating the Utopian space station