Direction: Neill Blomkamp
Actors: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster
Rating: *** 1/2
His debut feature, District 9 (2009), was one the more dynamic sci-fi epics in recent years. Embracing a similarly dazzling visual style, Neill Blomkamp envisions another dystopian future in this follow-up fantasy set in 2154 when Earth has become a gigantic ghetto.
Wealthy inhabitants have deserted the planet for the safety of an upscale space station hovering in the sky. Ensconced in their eponymous paradise, they have access to magical medicine machines that heal every ailment from common colds to leukemia.
Meanwhile, the rest of humanity lives in abject squalor. Contact between the denizens of the two worlds is forbidden. After an accident renders him radioactive, our hero (a bald and buff Damon) is determined to journey to Elysium. The plot loses some momentum as it forges ahead and Jodie Foster is underwhelming as the duplicitous defence secretary.
But there’s no denying the bursts of action and eye-popping production design. One hopes Blomkamp’s adaptation of the videogame, “Halo”, will come to fruition soon.