So-so science fiction drama

Elysium Columbia Rating: 14A 109 minutes

Four years ago South African/Canadian writer/director Neill Blomkamp scored a hit with District 9, a better than average science fiction film about aliens in South Africa that commented on the historic racist situation there.

His second feature, science fiction again, at the beginning at least, comments on the increasing disparity between the rich and poor. Set in 2154, the rich live in comfort and beauty on a fantastic space station named Elysium. It can be seen from Earth where most people live in squalor and poverty.

Matt Damon plays a resident of Los Angeles, now a huge slum. He works in a factory making robots and one day is exposed to a deadly dose of radiation. Desperate, he takes on a mission to get himself to Elysium where amazing machines can cure any medical problem and save his life. His mission involves a morbid operation and stealing the contents of the brain of one of the favoured few.

Jodie Foster plays the ice-cool secretary of defense of Elysium who wants take over and prevent interlopers like Damon from arriving. She is helped by a dangerous hitman (Sharlto Copley, the main character in District 9).

The movie starts well and some of the effects are very impressive; there’s a lot of imagination shown here. Blomkamp’s direction is solid, but his writing skills are not. The plot wanders and while Damon does okay with an underwritten character, his love interest (Alice Braga) is weak.

Rating: three deer out of five

New on Video

Olympus Has Fallen is the better of the two films this year about terrorists taking over the White House.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

Just Posted

Top Canadian athletes inducted into the Canada Games Hall of Honour

Athletes doing incredible things for communities are inducted into Hall of Honour, says Games CEO

Blackfalds RCMP seeking information on activities of stolen Fountain Tire Truck

Blackfalds RCMP recovered truck following earlier collision and car-jacking

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after truck collides with six vehicles

No one was injured and the male driver was restrained by a nearby resident until police arrived

Red Deer seniors get freshly painted dining room

Paint the Community is a partnership between Sherwin-Williams and Canadian Hockey League

Blackfalds RCMP on scene of school bus collision and car jacking

RCMP are looking for a silver 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander with Alberta license plate BNR655

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Alberta government to partially backstop new $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader

Project would create more than 2,000 jobs during construction

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Most Read