Correction: If two comments I’ve received are correct, the pit bull bad guy’s accent is South African, not a mix of Aussie, Brit, and Russian. I stand corrected and apologize for my ignorance of South African. I’m from Alabama. We don’t get much South African here. But I stick by my view of Jodie’s weird accent, and, all linguistics aside, Elysium was still a piece o’ crap. That last is my unqualified, unequivocal, and consummate opinion. And you are entitled to yours.
My title here says Elysium is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. “Apparently,” my sister said, “you haven’t seen District 9.”
Sister Kate and I love science fiction movies. The good ones, of course. So she and I decided on a sister’s day out last Saturday because the trailers for Elysium had us salivating to see it. You know. Matt Damon. Jodie Foster. How can you lose? That’s a Vegas draw if I ever heard one.
Apparently, we had not done our homework on this one. That awesome trailer said it all — we thought. Which begs the question in this instance — why didn’t they let whoever put the trailer together do the movie?
We had not bothered to find out the name of the director – Neill Blomkamp — which would have meant nothing to me, anyway. District 9 had not come across my radar. We didn’t even know Elysium was rated “R”. Which sometimes means nothing at all. But . . . then again! I’ll tell you one thing — I’ll never go to another movie without reading up on it first. I know District 9 garnered all sorts of artsy-tartsy accolades, but that usually only means it’s boring. That one will not be on my must-see or Christmas list — ever
So what was wrong with Elysium? You got a few minutes? Pull up a chair. Have some coffee. Here we go. First of all I felt I’d been assaulted. The language was ripe and frequent. If the four-letter words (and worse) had been bleeped out, you would have had the closest thing to a silent movie since silent movies. It was gruesome. It was depressing. The gray, monochromatic world and its utter hopelessness made me want to stick my finger to my head and go “POW” before it was half over. It was torture. By the end, I didn’t care if the world was saved or blown out of existence. I just wanted out of that theater. It’s not that I can’t take stories/movies like this. The concept was excellent. The execution . . . was like being executed.
Now let me tell you about those horrible accents. They were like something out of a comic book, and not one of Stan Lee’s, either. Jodie Foster’s character was the worst of the lot (though she looked great).. Her accent was clipped, almost robotic, and resembled no accent I’ve ever heard. And it wasn’t exactly consistent. The bad guy had the next worst accent. It was a fusion of Aussie, Brit, and Russian, with a little pit bull thrown in. I didn’t like Matt Damon’s character. He was such a loser all the way through. The bad guy beat him at every turn.
The only character I really somewhat cared about was not the “sweet-lovely-big-eyed-but-dying-of-an-unfixable-disease-little girl (Emma Tremblay) who was being bullied by the bad guys along with her mother. (Can we say cliche, boys and girls?). No. The character who had any character at all was the one who played a little thief who was a loyal friend to Matt Damon. I can’t even remember Damon’s character’s name. That’s how memorable it was.
But back to the unfixable disease. It could be fixed, and immediately, on Elysium, which was almost literally a pie in the sky paradise. It was one of those round, rotating space stations that the undesirables (mostly meaning poor people, but more than a few really undesirable criminals, too) on earth were forever forbidden access.
Yet, to add insult to injury — just when you think the plot might well start coalescing — Matt Damon goes into a long and excruciatingly maudlin monologue before pushing a simple button that will save the little girl. And this is during the time the big-eyed darling is counting her life span in seconds. I was tempted to yell out, “Somebody shoot him, PLEASE!! right there in the un-crowded theater. But, of course, the white-coats would have me now and I wouldn’t be able to warn you about this movie. Oh, and by the way. I’m not giving a link to the trailer. The whole thing is one-big-fat-lie.
But the sister’s day out was not entirely a disaster. We made fun of the movie so mercilessly on the way home that I had tears in my eyes and could barely see to drive. Now THAT’s funny.
Okay. Consider yourself warned. Your coffee’s getting cold.
P.S. Here’s a another review of Elysium I enjoyed. I even agreed with most of it. The dark on dark text is hard to read, but the review is thoughtful, well-written, and well worth the read. http://letterboxd.com/xarnis/film/elysium-2013/