Monday, August 25, 2014

Elysium (2013)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Elysium (2013).

This could have been great movie, but it didn't understood its subject. Movie has some truth in it, but that is wasted in one-dimensional characters and not giving characters real motivations. It was like third world fantasy of how first world treats them badly.

First world lives in space station called Elysium. Everything is good there. Machines heal every illness and robots do all the work. Rest lives on overpopulated and polluted earth Earth with very limited health care. Robots control population and only work for people seems to be building robots or work at hospitals. Humans build robots in factory. That is one of the first automated works in world.

This movie really doesn't understand problems and consequences of automation. Unemployment is one problem. Movie doesn't give any hints to that way. There are scenes showing how human interaction with robots doesn't work. But that was more about bureaucracy that robots.

Nothing was explained why Elysium exploited Earth. People from Elysium just didn't like people from Earth. That was just fact. No explanations. Relationship between Elysium and Earth was not explained. This could have been movie, which showed relationships between first and third world from third world perspective. But it was too lazy for that.

Everything seem to revolve around healing machines, which didn't use any resources. Elysium just wanted to keep them themselves and give Earth useless drugs. It might look to third world that first world does the same. Reality however is more complicated. Problem is related to resources. If first world had similar healing machines, first world would share them. Movie doesn't understand problem of limited resources. That is one problem between first and third world, that causes the exploitation. Movie's solution for third world's problems is making everyone first world's citizen. It is not that easy in real world.

Characters were badly written. They were either extremely one-dimensional or they change from second to second. Spider was example of latter. Spider was gangster, who runs human trafficking league. One moment he is gangster, who do it for money and next time he is fighting for citizens of Earth. John Carlyle was example of former. He didn't like people and was ready to do anything for money. I didn't understand Delacourt's motivation. Character was so bad even Jodie Foster couldn't make her work. Her death scene was totally wasted. It could have made movie better, if she had understood something in that scene. But she just died.

Movie didn't explain why Elysium didn't give healing machines to Earth. In the end computers send them to Earth and nothing changed in Elysium. Those machines would have stopped string of refugees. But that wasn't only thing that didn't make sense.

I was disappointed. Premise was interesting. What we got was more or less waste of time. There was cool exoskeleton, which was surgically attached to main character. That didn't bring anything to movie. Character didn't change any way. Movie had ideas, but it wasted them. Movie's world has too many stupid things like factory, where humans build robots. Nothing in the factory made sense. I wanted to like this, but movie was too lazy and too stupid.


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