Elysium — One of the Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen

Yeah. Right. Like, don’t hold your breath.

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.

Bad guy

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/

34 thoughts on “Elysium — One of the Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen

  1. I was NOT impressed with the three “Elysium” trailers I’ve seen or any of the numerous video clips. I don’t know why Damon and Foster even chose to be in this movie. Goodness knows neither of them needed the paycheck. They’re both A-listers and have commaned very high fees for years…especially Matt Damon.

    I’ve seen “District 9″ and loved it. I found it quite unique.

    • What Elysium trailers didn’t show was the gore, the language, the stupidity. As I said, the concept was excellent, kind of like The Hunger Games only without the contest. Just make it to Elysium by hook or crook or starve, or die of disease or abuse. It was horribly done.

      Glad you liked District 9, but after seeing one of that director’s movies, I have no desire to see another. Also glad you steered clear of his latest. That was money and time totally wasted.

      • I dunno….the whole concept of “Eysium” seemed kind of questionable to me, even with Jodie Foster and Matt Damon starring in it. And I like both of them.

      • The acting in this movie was ok upfront but got so bad later on that I started LMAO till the end. Damon and Foster seemed to be somewhere else…like they were just there collecting a paycheck. I am not a professional actor by any means – so kudos for Damon and Foster for their past successes and professional skills developed over a course of great filming… but this movie shouldn’t have been pushed to the theatres. It was a B movie at best. Too bad. Waste of money. I blame the director for accepting the lack of acting in some scenes. The actors trust the director to have vision. Not there.

      • Good points. I, too, have great respect for actors. And I do not think their job is easy. I couldn’t do it. But, as you said, the director is supposed to stick fire under them and steer them in the right direction. There was no artistic vision here. It was like it was slapped together.

    • Ha ha! This movie was a despicable display of film making. OMG! It was so stupid! I can’t even describe all the stupid scenes in this movie. It would make me puke. Seriously, this movie should go down as one of the worst EVER movies! It was a bunch of stolen storylines from other movies, embarrassing acting all around – especially Jody Foster and Damon, and would have been better as an anime. At least an anime would have been more believable. Truly a piece of garbage. Oscar the grouch would have thrown this one out of his can as a “yuck.” I haven’t even scratched the surface to the crap this movie was/is.

  2. “Who sings Who’s Sorry Now?”

    Matt and Jodie….because working with Blomkamp probably wasn’t as great as they expected. Or at least the movie that resulted wasn’t all that great.

    • Agree. The movie that resulted wasn’t all that great. Maybe it’s hard to tell while you’re there in it before it gets on the editing and cutting room floor. But nothing could have saved this movie except toss it start all over again.

    • Thanks for the comment. My sister had seen District 9 and hated it. We’ll do our homework next time. One Christian site reviewer didn’t recommend it for the language and violence, but called Matt Damon’s character “Christ-like” because he sacrificed himself. Okay, he “sacrificed” himself because he was already dying of radiation poisoning, plus a few bullets and smashed things. Before that he was only out after himself. I find nothing “Christ-like” or sacrificial in that scenario. I couldn’t get into this guy’s take at all.

  3. Beware of Spoliers: Worst movie ever! Just one continuing piece of non-sense: In the trailer Elysium was called the most secure place in the universe; It’s a damn space ferris wheel with its only defence being some wacko with a bazooka… on earth! In this futuristic society where robots are police offices and bureaucrats, the most dangerous manual labour is being done by… humans. Multi-billionaire entrepreneurs are not concerned with industrial accident lawsuits, but not dirtying the bedsheets in the plant’s infirmary. And should you become weakened from lethal dose of radiation poisoning, just go see your local human trafficker and he will provide you with a hundered-pound metal exo-skeleton he has lying around, provided you agree to steal some information for him. Of course, in this future, we no longer use USB keys but download information directly into our brains via our exo-skeleton interface, despite the fact that accessing it later can result in paralysis or death.

    And yet, in this wealthy society of self-centered individuals that has technologically overcome illness and is under constant attack from the clamouring proletariat, no one – NO ONE – has thought to make this technology available, on commercial terms, on Earth. This film is just so full of two dimensional thinking, it would have made Gene Roddenberry puke if he were still alive.

  4. Dear Brady,
    I thank you for your comment, but I could not allow it to go through because of the language you used – not because it was negative. That kind of language may be the way of the world, but I don’t go that way. I also thank you for the linguistics lesson. No. I am not familiar with South African, and though I can speak a little Spanish and German with an excellent accent, I do not claim to know all languages and dialects. As for being uneducated, I could only afford two years of college. The rest is self-taught through reading real literature and the Bible from childhood. I may not have your educational privileges, but apparently your education is lacking in the rudiments of civility. If you want to try your opinion again here, you can be as negative as you like and it will be posted. Just leave off the crudity and name calling and practice being a gentleman. It will get you farther in everything.
    Linda

    • Jason,
      I stand corrected. Thank you. But to call a Southern lady a yank . . . them’s fightin’ woids. That’s ignorant hick speak for — hey, I’m insulted. That’s American South dialect. Thanks for commenting.
      Linda

  5. I liked it :|

    I think sometimes people try too hard to find fault, however there was quite a big one, and it was that I didn’t care if any of the main characters lived or not. I’m Australian, so can tell that guy had a South African accent like you mentioned. I did find it a little distracting…

    Overall though, I enjoyed it for the simple fact I’m like an abused spouse, no matter how much I’m battered, I still love scifi. I can see why you didn’t like it though, the points made are fair enough, albeit subjective.

    • Very good points. I enjoyed your comment. My husband says he’s going to watch it just to see the space habitat. (He wasn’t with us at the movies). Mike and I love scifi, We got quite a chuckle out of your “abused” analogy. Mike has read science fiction, as he says, when science fiction wasn’t cool. I read more epic fantasy. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Did it bother anyone that Matt seemed to be the only white guy left on earth and he was the one saving Earth from evil white populated Elysium? Aren’t they playing into the stereotypical “white savior complex” Why didn’t they cast a Hispanic or black hero? Isn’t it normally the liberals who complain about this stuff? Yet this liberal propaganda movie is basically telling the viewers that 1) If all the rich white people leave Earth, Earth will become ghetto if all the Blacks and Hispanics left alone. 2) Only a white man can save the Blacks and Hispanics. Liberals should be the one complaining about the stereotypes in this movie. This is one of the most blatant racist movies I’ve seen in a long time and proves that even liberals are racist.

    • Boy! Do you have some good points.Ones that, to my shame, I missed entirely. Thank you for pointing that out. Also, I have just done a humorous (at my expense) but true story where I needed drawings for my visuals. But since my main, and very real subjects were black, I needed a caricature of a black family. There are none. I Googled images for a long time and came up with nada. I finally had to go with a caricature of a white kid and none of his father, the New York trained chef. What’s with that?

  7. The thing about District 9 that your sister missed is that it’s actually awesome. Elysium wasn’t. District 9 had the underlying satire of how people think about refugees and ways of life they don’t understand – Elysium lacked this depth, in fact there seemed to be little if any intellectual disparity between the two.

    District 9 was on so many levels a more complex, funny and engaging plot. Perhaps your sister missed the more complex undertones? But I agree with your assessment on Elysium.

  8. everything about Elysium was terrible, especially the acting by EVERYONE. I don’t understand all the praise for Matt Damon in general, I think he’s a very good person but a putrid actor. If you are a real Sci-fi fan, as I am, then you do yourself a disservice to avoid District 9 as it is everything Elysium is not; imaginative, creative, thought-provoking & has excellent acting, most notably by Sharlto Copley who is inexplicably atrocious in Elysium.

    • Justin,
      Thanks for commenting. There have been some others who have recommended District 9 who have said pretty much what you have. And, yes, I’m a real science fiction fan, but my husband Mike is practically a purist. We both look forward now to seeing District 9. Thanks for your recommendation. When we do see it, I will most certainly do a review.

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