Elysium: Expected Too Much

Saw Elysium yesterday. What stayed in mind were two things: great production design and the most annoying accent ever in a movie villain.

Elysium trailer screenshots (C) TriStar PIctures

Just like in District 9, director Neill Blomkamp has a thing for gritty sci-fi technology. There are cool firearms and space shuttle designs that seem to have evolved naturally from today’s technology. The computer displays and interfaces on the other hand are a bit backwards for the year 2100-something. Some look more like 90s era LCD wristwatches.

Elysium trailer screenshots (C) TriStar PIctures

Apart from the obvious things (space station etc.) it’s hard to make out exactly which shots are CG. Probably most aerial shots and all the police robots. The VFX and composites really are fantastic.

In the end, however, the movie didn’t quite satisfy me. It got boring even though you were supposed to care for the hero’s mission. (This is why I enjoyed Pacific Rim so much as an action movie: It didn’t include a cheesy “hero needs to save his love interest’s sick child from dying” subplot!)

The movie’s villains suffered from severe cases of overacting: I haven’t seen Jodie Foster in a while but she sure likes to make it obvious with every syllable that she’s playing an evil person. The movie’s other prominent villain has what I guess is a genuine South African accent but it made him laughable like those fan-made Youtube clips where people are dubbing movies with silly voices.

7/10 (the “better than average” level)

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