I am going to say a few unfair things in this short-personal spoiler free review and do something I hate; compare two seperate movies.
Here’s the consensus of Neill Blomkamp’s last film District 9 via Rotten Tomatoes; “Technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching, District 9 has action, imagination, and all the elements of a thoroughly entertaining science-fiction classic.” And here is the one for the film I’m reviewing, ‘Elysium’ “After the heady sci-fi thrills of District 9, Elysium is a bit of a comedown for director Neill Blomkamp, but on its own terms, it delivers just often enough to satisfy.”
I absolutely can’t stand it when people compare two different films with separate stories and ambitions and narrative goals, but for ‘Elysium’ I will because there are hardly any at all.
District 9 came as a surprise hit to some. It was shot by a nobody on a $30 million dollar budget, starring the director’s childhood friend (Sharlto Copely) in the lead and ended up pulling in over 115 million dollars domestically, was nominated for four oscars [Editing, F/X, Picture and Screenplay] was a sleeper hit. You would think following in the footsteps of other burgeoning directors one would thrive in the success of District 9 like most directors and make an ambitious passion project; Christopher Nolan after making The Dark Knight made Inception, for James Cameron after making Titanic made AVATAR. Judd Apatow made Funny People after Knocked Up, and Zack Snyder made Sucker Punch after 300 and Watchmen.
If producers said to you we like what you did so much with your last movie and instead of commissioning you to do a sequel we are going to give you 115 million dollars and allow you to shoot an original idea with an R-rating. Why would you spend 3 years making a derivative, well manufactured but forgettable sci-fi piece (that rips off several video games) for your passion project and totally not make a sequel to District 9?
I am disappointed in you Neill Blomkamp you can do so much better, have you already ascended to the 1% so quickly? What was supposed to be a major theme of your movie (class warfare) is largely ignored despite a cast of game actors, you have them stuck playing stock one-dimensional roles.
This is the first movie I’ve seen where I was mad that a movie was just okay, and this is the first movie I’ve seen where being adequate without any major mistakes comes across as bad filmmaking, more than that – lazy filmmaking. It just floats around in space waiting to be consumed by those only capable of breathing.
— Doing a full review because the movie isn’t really all that worth it, and its not like the director tried either —
- The character of Spider looks and acts a bit like Dante Fadelle in this movie
- The music was good