Fanboy Flick Pick: Elysium's Funky Future Is Marred by its Moralizing

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Friday, August 2, 2013 at 11:30 am

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Towards the climax, things start playing out like a literalized game of Halo or Doom, with newer and deadlier power-ups being acquired for weapons, leading to at least one genuinely shocking moment I didn't see coming. Diego Luna is fun as Max's crooked "coyote" compadre, while Copley simply emits pure evil as a Kruger whose first name could be Freddy if he were only a little nicer. It's frustrating that these performances and all the cool robots - Fichtner's personal security are gold plated - are slightly wasted in service of a script that doesn't earn its moments. Wikus in District 9 damn near makes me cry every time when he ends up as a bug folding paper flowers all alone, and he earns that by having been a cowardly douche who worked his way toward redemption. The antiheroes here only seem to be crooked out of desperate poverty, while the villains never even get a moment to legitimately make their case beyond, essentially, "Fuck you, I'm evil."

This may turn out to be Michael Moore's favorite sci-fi movie of the year - it is essentially Sicko in Space, after all. Unfortunately, it's less likely to be yours. Look, I want universal health care too - I just don't want it to barge over all subtleties in my future-gangsta flicks.

Elysium opens next week.


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