Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ELYSIUM: A Not Very Short Review

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
My SFR that just came out, ANGELI, deals with what happens when the "Chosen One" doesn't stop the apocalypse, so the other night, the hubs and I decided we'd watch ELYSIUM, since it's all dystopian and science-fictiony. I thought for tonight's post I'd talk about our varied, and not so varied, reactions to the film.

Me: I heard this got meh reviews.
DH: ------- (he doesn't talk much)
*credits roll*
DH: Hey, it's the same guy that did District 9.
Me: Uh-oh. Not that I didn't like District 9, but, you know, it was depressing and dark and it didn't really have a good ending and...can you pause it?
DH: *pauses it while I write stuff down*
Me: So what does that make you expect about this film?
DH: It'll be gritty.

The film begins. Pans across a dirty earth, overpopulated, full of factories and skyscrapers and poor people. Then it pans to the Elysium space station which looks a bit like a giant Stargate.

Hero/heroine meet as kids. They're BFFs. I notice the hero (Matt Damon) is in an orphanage where they speak Spanish.

Scene switches to his adult life. He's not wearing a shirt! He's built and has tats! Wheee, eyecandy!

DH: *rolls eyes*

Now our hero has to go to work at some (gritty) job, and I notice pretty quickly that the characters are his tall Caucasian self and a bunch of smaller, darker, Spanish-speaking people. When we switch to Elysium, there are lots of white colors, pale clothing, Jodie Foster with blond hair, and people speaking French. Ok, so Spanish is for poor dark people and French is for rich people, though we do find out later that there are non-Caucasians on Elysium. Just not many of them.

Me: Hey, I think there's some social commentary.
DH: Do I have to pause it again?
Me: Nah, just keep going. I want to see if he takes off his shirt again.
DH: *rolls eyes*

So Dirty Bald Matt Damon, former car thief, runs into the heroine, now grown, when he has to go to the grubby, gritty poor person hospital to treat a broken arm inflicted upon him by robot cops. She's a nurse and he tries to ask her out but she says her life is too complicated.

Me: She totally has a sick kid or an abusive husband. Probably a sick kid. But she'll get threatened with rape at some point in here.
DH: -------
Me: Thanks for not rolling your eyes. Isn't that starting to hurt?
DH: *rolls eyes*

So, love interest isn't Caucasian. Basically only Dirty Matt Damon is. Eventually we switch back to Matt Damon working at the horrible factory.

DH: Hey, look, he makes the robot cops that beat him up.
Me: Robots are evil.
DH: You don't need to write that down, do you?
Me: He's still wearing a shirt. I'm good.

Still at the gritty, dirty robot factory. Some white dude in a suit from Elysium stares down at the dirty workers in the factory, and also white Dirty Matt Damon. Suit guy is being all elitist and shit. He's eventually in some plot with white, clean, French speaking Jodie Foster, but I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say, he's not very sympathetic when the foreman (who's--hey! short and white and a bit less dirty!) forces Dirty Matt Damon to try to fix some equipment. Poor Dirty Matt Damon ends up getting a full dose of radiation that can't be cured unless he can get himself to the magical medical bed on Elysium.

That'll be hard because white, clean Jodie Foster likes to have dirty refugees who just want 2 minutes in a magical medical bed shot out of the sky...oddly, by a scary, dirty Caucasian AUSTRALIAN guy who looks like Road Warrior ran over him. Dude shoots a big gun from the surface of the planet to take out the refugee ships. And this is necessary because Elysium has a brown guy pacifist at the helm and Jodie Foster hates him because she has kids and he won't take the threat of refugees seriously. Like you do.

Shortly thereafter, Dirty Matt Damon also finds out his BFF love interest the nurse has a daughter dying of leukemia (NAILED IT) who can only be saved by a magical medical bed. He also has a male BFF who keeps saying things like, "We've always been friends" and "I'm with you to the end."

Me: That dude is so dead.
DH: --------

Thus begins Dirty Matt Damon's quest to get his irradiated self, his love interest, the child, some other dirty poor people (but not his male BFF because the guy gets killed, NAILED IT!), and a bunch of stolen seekrit evil plans saved in the organic matrix that is his brain to Elysium, where he always promised the love interest he'd take her. Also the scary Aussie and his cohorts are out to get them and want to rape the love interest (NAILED IT!)

Now, since this was by the guy who did District 9, you can guess about the cinematography, the violence, the dirt everywhere, the depressingness, and so on and so forth, as well as the ending I won't spoil in case you want to watch it. Not that you can't guess most of it because...NAILED IT!

Yeah, I guess I'm saying this movie was pretty predictable. Gritty, shaky-cam, and a heavy-handed indictment of rich-white-people-are-evil, it requires a bald, tall, dirty white guy amongst a bunch of small brown people to save the world. Mixed messages much?

Anybody else catch this one?

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

PS Here's the stuff about my new release! It's less gritty and happier than Elysium, and a brown, Spanish speaking heroine saves the world :).

ANGELI (Book 1 of the Maelstrom Chronicles)
by Jody Wallace
Release Date: January 27, 2014
Genre: SF romance
Length: Shortish Novel
Rating: R (profanity, violence, sex–all the good stuff)
From: Entangled Ignite
Buy Links: Amazon, B&N, All Romance eBooks, Kobo
Add it to your Goodreads list!
Party with the Ignite Authors on January 30


  1. I had more fun reading your review of this movie than I did actually watching it. lol

  2. Hilarious.

    I also had a "that dude is so dead" moment. My DH and I looked at each other, and I said, "Well, he's gonna die," and DH said, "Yup."

    Great review. :)

  3. Your review is so spot on. Nailed it! LOL Too funny. Nice one, Jody.


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