REVIEW: Elysium is ‘generic’ and doesn’t match District 9

Matt Damon stars in Columbia Pictures' ELYSIUM.
Matt Damon stars in Columbia Pictures' ELYSIUM.

Reviewer Gavin Miller is unimpressed by Neill Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi outing...

After all the fanfare, Neill Blomkamp’s second sci-fi outing doesn’t reach the hefty heights he achieved with his 2009 breakout film District 9.

This Matt Damon and Jodie Foster headlined action-drama still provides a solid watch.

As Blomkamp had set the bar so high, our thirst was already quenched expecting something simply out-of-this-world – but in the end Elysium turns out to be pretty generic.

That’s despite an intriguing premise, which sees the very wealthy live on a disease-free space station orbiting the planet – with security ran by Jodie Foster’s ruthless defence secretary Delacourt – and the rest of the population living on a ruined Earth.

Enter ex-convict Max, who must get to this Utopia to save his life after being hit by a bout of radiation – and is turned into a (kind of) super soldier.

Again, Sharlto Copley is the best human aspect in this, playing deranged ex-military man Kruger hired by Delacourt to try and stop Max achieving his goal.

While there’s much to enjoy with Blompkamp’s beautifully crafted polarising worlds and some decent set-pieces, the film seems to run out of concrete ideas very early.

This leaves it plodding towards the inevitable finale, with the ‘shanty’ townships on Earth unfortunately giving a distinct feeling of District 9.5 – with robots.