First Hit: Well-crafted film about the future while keeping humanness as part of the story.
The future is clear, there are the haves and have nots.
The haves do not live on Earth any longer. They live on a spinning wheel space station just out of the atmosphere called Elysium. It can be seen from Earth. On this space station people do not get diseased and if they do, their machines make them well.
On Earth there is overcrowding, theft, crime, and denigration of humans and their spirit. Max (Played by Matt Damon) has been a thief, imprisoned, and now just is trying to get by. When he makes a joke to one of the robot policemen, he gets beat. His childhood friend, Frey (Alice Braga) is a nurse and was serving on Elysium but had to come back to Earth because her daughter Matilda (Emma Tremblay) had leukemia and wasn't a citizen.
Not being a citizen (meaning someone with an embedded code in their arm) means that you don't really exist to the people of Elysium. Frey and Max meet up again and she wants him to help her daughter to Elysium to get healed and he wants to get there because he just got a lethal dose of radiation and will die in 5 days.
Of course the heads of Elysium, especially Secretary of State Delacourt (Jodie Foster) who has eyes for more power, don’t want their world contaminated so no non-citizen gets to the space station.
This film explores, where are we going as a human race and what will we do to create equality among people. It explores the question of what will become of us in the year 2154.
Damon is, as he always is, sublime. He makes his role so real and effortless that you can’t help but be on his side and believe his rightness. Braga is great as his longtime friend. She brings such humanness to this film as does her daughter Tremblay. Foster is powerful and spot-on as the politico who wants control and to politically move up the ladder to President. Neill Blomkamp both directed and wrote this story. His extraordinary use of special effects on space vehicles and landscapes were well thought out and implemented.
Overall: Although this film is well done, it may not do well at the box office because it just may be too smooth and the name doesn't help it.