Monday, August 12, 2013
I don't understand, Hollywood. I get your compulsion to make movies about dudes in big dumb robot suits punching each other. That is fun for the entire family! Its fine! Its pure, its primal, it can tons of fun. But why do we need to justify these big dumb robots suits with lame and meaningless constructs of dystopian societies? Why can't a guy in a robot suit just punch another guy in a robot suit? Why do we need to pretend to give a shit about the Third World by making our hero a member of the working class, fighting valiantly against Evil French-Speaking White People? You think just because director, Neil Blomkamp made "District 9", a reasonable intelligent SciFi film with an original concept that "Elysium" isn't going to be as pointless and dull as the trailers so clearly showed it to be? Sorry, no, Neil Blomkamp got his paycheck, and he cared as little as anybody else. The hypocrisy of these movies is so blatant even in their casting: Matt Damon is #5 on the Grand List of Whitest People Who Ever Lived, just below William H. Macy. He is not a poor Mexican farmer getting his leg caught in barbed wire to get a job as a dish washer at Denny's. Even worse, while "Elysium" juggles income inequality, healthcare inequality, racism, forced poverty, and god knows how many other hot button issues, it has NOTHING TO SAY about any of them. Its just rich people stealing all the health care because... they wanna tan and have garden parties in space. It references those real problems which cause real suffering to real people, all just to create a backdrop for why Matt Damon can punch people.
Just two years ago "In Time" came out, doing exactly the same thing. At least "Elysium" doesn't base its entire concept around an economic system more insane than Communism, but its still just as empty of a movie. There aren't people, there isn't any intelligence, there's just a few brief flashes of competently-directed action scenes. And there aren't half as many action scenes are you'd need to keep your attention. At least there's a cyborg redneck South African who likes to cook ribs with a katana. Even the second-billed actress, Jodie Foster, couldn't give a shit, spending the entire film hamming it up in a bizarre posh accent. "Elysium" is so desperate and pandering that it gives us a cute little girl who supposedly has leukemia, but somehow suffers from no symptoms and is only there to generate false sympathy. Everything is empty, one-dimensional, and completely false. Its worse than "Oblivion"! "Elysium" is a false movie, do not be fooled by it.