Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Elysium - The scoop and digest

Neill Blomkamp’s social commentary of aliens slumming it on Earth was rightly very well received.

His next throw of the dice prescribes a different dose of intrigue as there’s not a single prawn cocktail in sight.

Plot details and/or spoilers will be draped in rags and worn with riches.

Those yearning for a ticket to ride include:

Matt Damon – Max
Sharlto Copley – Kruger
Jodie Foster – Delacourt
Wagner Moura – Spider
Alice Braga – Frey
William Fichtner – Carlyle
Diego Luna - Julio

Earth has become diseased, polluted and overpopulated.

The wealthy flee to space station Elysium to preserve their normal life.

So to put it another way, the deprived don’t have a pot to piss in and the other half tinkle in luxurious urinals.

Med-pods also have the ability to reconstruct and heal.

Those earthbound include Max who as a child lived a life of crime and spent various stints in prison.

Los Angeles 2154.

Max is employed by the Armadyne Corporation which provides weapons and droids to Elysium.

Everybody needs a friend and his is Julio.

Armadyne Corporation and not Cyberdyne Systems?  C’mon.  Ha ha!

Of these robotic types, they offer no nonsense law enforcement and breathing in the wrong direction will be punished, as Max quickly discovers.

This ‘break’ isn't all bad as he reacquaints with a childhood friend Frey who works as a nurse at the local hospital.

As desperation tightens its grip, a group of ‘illegals’ attempt to enter Elysium’s atmosphere.

This proves to be fatal as getting obvious wind of this, Secretary Delacourt orders sleeper Agent 32 and/or Kruger to bring the whole situation down.

This pisses the President of Elysium off and after bollocking lady pants, Kruger is dismissed.

To satisfy her insane lust for power, she organises a meet with Armadyne big cheese Carlyle.

In exchange for securing a lengthy contract renewal, he agrees to write a reboot program which will be the perfect tonic for her to overthrow the current president.

The necessary program is encrypted to his grey matter for safekeeping.

What’s wrong with a memory stick?  Oh yeah, those removable drives can get corrupted...

I’m not sure when but Delacourt promises Kruger full reinstatement should he secure what’s in Carlyle’s head.

Poor old Max is exposed to lethal radiation while getting a door out of a jam and collapses.  After regaining consciousness, a Johnny 5 wannabe informs that he has just five days to live and a bottle of pills to ease the pain is scant consolation.

Thanks for that you steaming hunk of junk.  While you're at it, why not throw in a kick in the bollocks for good measure?

With less than a week to live, he looks to Spider who arranges jaunts to Elysium.

Max accepts the job to extract data from Carlyle and to help his cause, an exo skeleton is fitted which not only connects to his nervous system, but the wearer also benefits from improved strength.

A cerebral link completes the mission kit.

Along with his mechanical bodyguards, Carlyle takes to the sky and but is shot down by Max and the target crash lands close by.

Before Kruger makes his presence known, robotic threat is cancelled by causing one to explode and the other losing its head.

That baddie appears and during a fire fight, Carlyle is fatally wounded.

Julio is killed, the upload is complete and before escaping, Max gets the point from Kruger.

Unfortunately, it’s a right bugger that program and data are more scrambled than eggs.

Delacourt demands that Kruger and co must not damage that lovely brain.

Frey treats Max’s wound and meets her daughter Matilda who has leukaemia.

Using tracking drones, Kruger learns that Max has recently paid them a visit and turns kidnapper.

Meanwhile, after suffering a mouthful from Max; Spider attempts to access data and realises this program is the key to across the board Elysium citizenship but as that bitch Delacourt has locked down airspace, this prevents a ship launch.

Max turns deal maker with Kruger that in return for a jolly to that round rich thing in the sky, he can have the very valuable thing in his head or a grenade will relieve it...

Great.  Everybody wins.

Airspace is available and they’re up, up and away.  When one of Kruger’s goons gets a bit frisky, the grenade detonates in Kruger’s face.

Max is overpowered and captured while Spider and co head for Elysium.

Before brain extraction, the scientist types inform Delacourt that any attempt to extract will almost certainly kill him.

‘Oh well’ thinks our ice queen and orders her cronies to proceed.

Max isn't having none of it and escapes.

After successful facial reconstruction, Kruger stabs Delacourt in the neck (which signals her death), as he wants to take over this operation.

Now in a thoroughly depressing situation and powerless to prevent biting the big one, Max makes the decision to make every man, woman and child an Elysium citizen.

Complete with uber exo skeleton, Kruger becomes a rampaging terminator.

Target humans, mission destroy.

Max and Spider are the only ones who make it but Kruger insists on a showdown.

After an uninspiring scuffle, Kruger apparently has Max trapped with a grenade but struggles free and throws him over the bridge to complete an explosive send off.

Spider begins to extract the program and Max dies.

Before the President can restrain and detain, Elysium is successfully rebooted and bingo, Earth’s citizens have an unlimited pass.

The med-pod is now able to recognise Matilda and cures her leukaemia.

As crafts send medical supplies to Earth, it leaves you with something like this.

“Everybody has a purpose to serve and Max has served his.”

Although this fails to scale the giddy heights of his debut, there is much for sci-fi junkies to admire; from the fantastic scenery, interesting technology and more than useful pea shooters.

Put it this way, Oblivion is effortlessly outpointed...

Foster is on appropriate form as a wannabe dictator and judging by this performance, there is no reason for Damon to be Bourne again.

While District 9 was a surprising sleeper hit, a blockbuster proves to be a bit too much for South African Copley’s shoulders to carry.

He isn't helped by a script that is often far from mature and his expendable lapdogs are more irritating than an itch that you can’t quite reach.

The themes of class, immigration and equality are less subtle than a spike up the booty and thankfully doesn't spill over into a political debate.

F-bombs can be unnecessarily dropped and mostly, just for the sake of it.

Above all else, I wish there was more action because when bullets spray and fists fly, it’s a pretty sparse affair.

While you needn't worry about induced motion sickness, the sometimes shaky cam goes some way to encourage dizziness and disorientation.

Okay, criticism gapes surprisingly like an open wound but Blomkamp’s vision is still a vibrant spectacle that remains intelligent enough to please.

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