‘Elysium’ is the last gasp for the Sci-Fi genre at the 2013 box office, and while an ambitious first foray into Hollywood for ‘District 9’ director Neill Blomkamp, this film once again proves that Hollywood seems to come up a little short when it comes to giving audiences great Sci-Fi in the theatre.
While ‘District 9’ was a surprise hit in August of 2009 and went on to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, ‘Elysium’ tries to be bigger and falls short, and I think that falls onto the use of CGI and the Hollywood-ization of what could have been a great story.
As I watch more and more films, and am becoming more aware of what is going on in them, little things begin to stand out to me, and that has never really been more prevalent than in ‘Elysium’ when they show a scene of Matt Damon’s character’s ankle bracelet, and we see that he is wearing what appears to be a brand new pair of black Adidas running shoes. How, in a dystopian environment 140 years into the future, a pair of Adidas running shoes still exists is beyond me, but I will tell you, this part deeply upset me and has dampened the film as well.
‘Elysium’ tries hard to be a more action oriented film but also retain the thought provoking nature of ‘District 9’ with the health care story that it carries, but it struggles to combine the two into one coherent arc.
In the end, I don’t see ‘Elysium’ matching what ‘District 9’ did at the box office, and that falls down to this movie trying to be big and too ambitious, much the trait of Hollywood today, instead of relying more on story telling and featuring something new. In a summer of huge hit and miss films, Sony now has four $100 million plus misses on the books, and that is something that someone should take a good, long look at.
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