Why is it that Hollywood cannot say, "Wow, that was a good idea. Let me see if I can do something different"? Rather than, "Wow, that was a good idea. Let me see if I can do the same thing by changing the story just a bit." You'll never see the former, only the latter. Despite what Hollywood thinks, they lack a great deal of creativity. All they do is repeat what the original creator did and that's NOT creativity.
I thought about this the other day when I saw the very disappointing Elysium. I don't know what they were thinking.
Let's go over what you have here. Look, I even designed a pie chart for you, despite the fact that it may screw up the alignment. I mean, who cares? We don't want to miss the point! Here is the film in a nutshell:
That's very accurate, I might add. To begin with, let us talk about the story that they stole. This story was stolen from a Star Trek episode titled, "The Cloud Minders". That's right. You fans of Elysium that make fun of Trekkies, guess what? They have one on you! This story was done already and was probably done better the first go around.
The funny part to this is that imdb has a higher rating for that episode than the movie does. What does that say?
Anyway, let's circle back around to its elements. To begin with, if I wanted to watch a bunch of fighting or chasing I have a load of films I could resort back to that are true classics now. I could watch the original Robocop, or Terminator, or even Braveheart for gosh sakes! Oh wait, are you going to try to argue the point that special effects today outweigh those older films? Fine, then how about Matrix?
I wanted to see Elysium because the story intrigued me, it had Jodie Foster in it (I mean, you can hardly go wrong with her, right?), it had William oh-so-hot-and-always-overlooked Fichtner in it (see this, my post; clearly I'm not alone) and it had Matt Damon who I will forgive for endorsing Obama, time and again. I mean, it doesn't take talent to be intelligent and Matt Damon is proof enough of that. Still, he does (usually) have talent in a film.
The only thing I liked about the film was Jodie and William. Sadly, Matt Damon was disappointing. Anyone could have done that part. He didn't make it his. Jodie invented a dialect that was just so interesting! I also finally got to hear her speak French! I've wanted to hear her for years. Then William... oh my dear sweet William, got a never-before-done part as well. I kind of thought of him as an evil Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
Those were the only things I liked. The overall reaching story was good, but they blew it. They should have spent more time on the story, the politics and the other people then they did. For example, if the president was so gung ho on treating the workers on Earth so good, then why did he even bother running Elysium? That seems contradictory but a story could have cleared that up. What made Delacourt so desperate to protect her family? Why was a white boy raised in a Spanish area? Why did Delacourt let herself die when she was this close to winning? None of it made any sense!
Visually we saw only two things: a couple of brief shots of the landscape of Elysium and then of Earth. That's it. The rest could have been in any sci-fi movie. Clean or dirty buildings that pretty much look like what we have today in some places. Nothing overly special.
Now let us get to the tiresome and boring racial/environmental preaching part. The audacity that Hollywood has, really does amaze me. They are actually the epitome of the elite on Elysium and all its fans are the workers on Earth. We are talked down to and we're told by them what we're supposed to think. If we don't agree, then they treat us like crap. Really? You don't think so? What about when Tom Hanks called voters Un-American, just because they disagreed with him? Or how about all the stupid things Alec Baldwin has said? Or Rosie O'Donnell's childish behavior on The View or getting fired from OWN (we all know why she was really fired, people hate her now)? What about Huffington calling SUV drivers terrorists? Need I go on?
Again, they are Elysium and we are Earth. They think they're better than all of us and pretty much call us stupid, terrorists just for living our lives the best we can. Then they smack a movie up on screen to drive the point home. We drive cars, so look at all our tires on there and how that ruined the environment. Yet, what do the stars drive? I don't see them on trains. Do you?
Anyway, all in all I give this movie a 3.5 out of 10 stars. It gets a star for Fichtner, a star for Foster, a half-star for the short Elysium landscape visual and a star for the overall idea. It's a total failure for everything else.