This week, a meek freak ekes by with a bleak, somewhat tongue-in-cheek peek at sleek, badly-tweaked, creaky cinematic chic.
A slick sci-fi concept piece, Elysium left me feeling cold, underwhelmed, and more than a little preached at. Never quite able to completely mask a markedly propagandist slant behind its veneer of action movie tropes, its lack of subtlety shares something in common with Neil Young’s “protest” songs of recent years (e.g., “Let’s Impeach the President”). Director Neill Blomkamp’s previous sermon, District 9, held up because the originality and zaniness of the film’s story transcended its overt political commentary. Elysium has no such fallback because its adaptation of the typical Hollywoodized action hero’s journey fails to inject much freshness into the formula. Continue reading