* * *
(Sci-fi with good
Good science fiction requires allegory and strong references to our current issues. “Star Trek” set the bar high for futuristic sagas that had present-day overtones.
“Elysium” deals with the issues of immigration, universal health care and class distinctions, but unfortunately ends up as a familiar violent battle between good and evil.
Matt Damon is Max, an ordinary man put in an extraordinary situation, fighting not only for his life but the life of an innocent little girl and, on a bigger scale, the future of the world’s have-nots.
The year is 2154. Earth is one big slum, filled with unemployment, disease, poverty, crime, pollution and every other bad thing you can think of. The privileged few have found sanctuary on a huge space station, floating above the planet – a sort of Garden of Eden in space.
Max’s dream as a boy (the kid who plays him looks just like him) is to get to Elysium. Little did he know that someday he would have to get there to save his own life.
Max is involved in an industrial accident that leaves him with five days to live. The only hope is to get to Elysium for the only medical care that could save him.
Jodie Foster plays the cold Homeland Security director whose job it is to stop any ship attempting to land on Elysium. “Illegal immigrants” have tried but end up being blown out of the sky.
A subplot has a mother trying to get to Elysium to get her dying daughter on a “med bed,” which is standard equipment in every home.
Max joins with the rebel forces to penetrate the defenses, leading to one battle after another and turning the movie into yet another violent clash that goes on and on until the final showdown. The special effects are good, but the battles look all too familiar.
Rated R for the violence and profanity.