Foster’s Comeuppance for Contact: Elysium (2013)

Contact wasn’t Jodie Foster’s fault. She didn’t write the script.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Whatever. She still took the job and so she takes the blame for it. The alien was her God damn father. Bunch of M. Night Shyamalan whore’s shit. But I digress before I even start. Where was going…

Ah, yes, Elysium.

Neill Blomkamp’s sophomore film, unlike Contact, was pretty damned good. It’s another “haves” versus the “have nots” film, but considering the state of affairs in South Africa, where he is from, which is but a microcosm of the greater economic shituation out there, it’s an obvious source that weighs heavily in his creative conscious. In general it’s a rich, fertile source of background material. So, hey, why not?

The story follows Max, Matt Damon, one of the majority of human peons left on Earth, forced to live and work in squalor. Because of humanity’s disregard for the planet, Earth was ruined. By 2154 the face of the planet is basically one gigantic slum. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Delacourt, Jodie Foster, and the elites who live on an orbiting space station in obscene Hollywoodesque luxury: dinner parties, pool parties and the occasional lounging about. They’re so privileged that every home has a tanning bed which can cure all disease. It can even reconstruct your face if most of it gets blown off by a grenade.

I’ll take two, please.

Natrually, all the poor bastards on Earth want to live on Elysium. All the citizens of Elysium want to keep the, literally, unwashed masses out. Max is a dreamer who promises his childhood friend, Fey (Alice Braga), that one day he’ll get her to Elysium. Blah, blah, blah. Struggle. Hardship. Playing by the rules. Blah, blah, blah. Chance. Blah, blah, blah.Punch. Shoot. Explosion. Yeah, it follows a formula, but at least it entertains without trying to give a big twist at the end.

I am a bit perplexed about one aspect. Everyone, on Earth and Elysium, are at least bilingual. On Earth it’s Spanish and English. On Elysium it’s French and English. What is Blomkamp saying? Spanish is for grubby workers; French for the bourgeoisie? Hmmm. I guess I just answered my own question there, didn’t I?

Regardless, it’s an entertaining film which delivers exactly what it builds up to: viz, Delacourt (Jodie Foster) getting a sharp object to the jugular, Hallelujah! Yeah, I’m still angry about the Contact shit and this starts to make up for it. That alone is well worth the price of admission.

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