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Neill Blomkamp's Elysium


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I did wonder why

Elysium's only defence was a tramp with a rocket launcher in Mexico.

With Kruger, I don't think he was necessarily being brought to life - I assumed he had some kind of Iain M Banks / Culture-style implant to keep his brain alive in the event of serious trauma. He was a cyborg, that made sense to me. And I've no idea why they didn't download Carlyle's brain data to a laptop, but at the same time, what makes you think they could have? It's like asking why you can't download a paper book onto your Kindle - they're different things. Maybe it's just not possible.

Again, I kinda liked the fact that they didn't explain all the technology in the film, it made it seem a bit more real - you don't get characters in contemporary films explaining USB sticks and the internet to each other. Or sometimes you do, and it's always shit.

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Sure, they're obviously a rarity - but that they have some bloke with a rocket launcher in the first place suggests that immigrants are a hindrance to some degree - which is weird, as it's not like they seem to want to go up there for much, except to use the magical curing machines, which they seemed to have an abundance of just laying about the place in EMS shuttles.

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Sure, they're obviously a rarity - but that they have some bloke with a rocket launcher in the first place suggests that immigrants are a hindrance to some degree - which is weird, as it's not like they seem to want to go up there for much, except to use the magical curing machines, which they seemed to have an abundance of just laying about the place in EMS shuttles.

So just a case of the privileged treating the poor in a similar way to the real world then.

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Sure, they're obviously a rarity - but that they have some bloke with a rocket launcher in the first place suggests that immigrants are a hindrance to some degree - which is weird, as it's not like they seem to want to go up there for much, except to use the magical curing machines, which they seemed to have an abundance of just laying about the place in EMS shuttles.

Jodie Foster's character makes a point a few times about how the politically correct view regarding Earth bound humans trespassing on Elysium has softened recently. It seemed to me that Elysium was more than capable of dealing with them, but she chose to use Kruger because he was one of only a few capable resources she still had at her disposal.

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In the most ham-fisted, Hollywood way possible, yes.

What was ham-fisted or Hollywood about it? It's basically true now! The US has more than enough resources to provide healthcare for its entire population, but people still die of easily preventable diseases.

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What was ham-fisted or Hollywood about it? It's basically true now! The US has more than enough resources to provide healthcare for its entire population, but people still die of easily preventable diseases.

This is true to an extent, but it's an absurd simplification to suggest that everyone in the world could live like rich Americans - or in Elysium. It's very apparent that at least the richest people, and probably most of "the West" would have to accept a lower standard of living for the rest of the world to truly achieve something like equality.

The ending when

everyone is made a citizen of Elysium is ridiculous - it obviously wouldn't be possible for everyone on Earth to live like people do on Elysium, in the same way it wouldn't be possible to move the entire population of Bangladesh into a luxury gated community. And the scenes at the end where they send some of the medical machines down - clearly they don't have enough for the billions of people on Earth. It makes it a lot of less interesting/plausible if we're supposed to believe that these machines can be cheaply mass produced and have only been withheld out of spite. It seemed to me implicit in the whole set up that they must be very expensive hence why only the elite own them.

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It makes it a lot of less interesting/plausible if we're supposed to believe that these machines can be cheaply mass produced and have only been withheld out of spite.

I dunno, you look at the current government wrecking the NHS and the economy for ideological purposes, and it's difficult to believe that spite isn't involved - or if not spite, sheer bloody-mindedness. The same goes for generic drugs - billions of people in the developing world could have access to cheap, mass-produced generic drugs - i.e. which are pretty much analogous to Elysium's magical medical computer things - but political / ideological concerns prevent them from being allowed to produce, say, cheap AIDS medication under patent.

We live in a world now that would probably come across as unrealistic if presented as a sci-fi dystopia to people in the 1950s.

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Well, it's science fiction. It's an extrapolation of current trends - I can believe that the world would look like that 150 years into the future, if the broadening gap between the rich and the poor continues at its current pace. Again, it's not far off that state at the moment in some parts of the world.

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I went and saw this. My major gripe, and I do mean major is that they have the tech to build the bloody hub but not fix the issues on Earth? WTF?

And what about those machines? If the folks up there are essentially immortal, why are there older looking people? Continuous replacement of organs and skin etc would keep you young eternally , wouldnt it?
My other gripes have also been stated before so will not go into that.

To me essentially the movie was spoiled because of that one glaring error.

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I went and saw this. My major gripe, and I do mean major is that they have the tech to build the bloody hub but not fix the issues on Earth? WTF?

Again, is this so unbelievable? We have the tech to build the International Space Station and The Shard and the Playstation 4, but kids in the favelas of Sao Paulo are forced to root through shit to find things to sell, and their only chance of getting out of the ghetto is to kill Max Payne and steal his magical healing pills. Elysium is an exaggerated version of our world, and the social problems it portrays are ones that exist now. How could you not see this? The film all but sticks #occupy up on the screen in thousand-point text at key moments. It’s so unsubtle you could craft a Blackadder-style epigram about how unsubtle it is, and it would still be less unsubtle than all of Ben Elton’s novels put together.

And what about those machines? If the folks up there are essentially immortal, why are there older looking people? Continuous replacement of organs and skin etc would keep you young eternally , wouldnt it?

I dunno, would it? Maybe it wouldn't. Madonna is essentially immortal, and she doesn't look young. She looks like one of the infected from Left 4 Dead.
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The social and political aspects are a little heavy handed, but I can see where he extrapolates from. For me the main issue with the plot and setup is the idea that

the entire working system of Elysium can be altered by one guy writing a computer program in an afternoon, just because Jodie Foster asks him to. There's no insight into exactly how politics works both on Elysium and on Earth, so it's hard to accept this very Deus Ex Machina event as plausible. I mean... does everyone on Elysium now roll over because of a line that says "This is how it is now"? What government does Earth have?

I did love the movie, it's just that if you peek too deeply into most of its setup it kind of falls apart.

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I’d need to watch it again, but I don’t recall the ending meant that everyone on Earth lived happily ever after with the standard of life on Elysium, just that a few people on Earth got access to healthcare. If it’s supposed to show a revolution, then it’s the first shot of that revolution – a Boston Tea Party – rather than the end.

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But apparently there's a guy down the road with six gleaming new sports cars and a great big house. Would such a guy not also have a magical medical pod?

Probably not. They seem strictly limited to Elysium. Probably doesn't matter if he's loaded. If he isn't a citizen of Elysium, he won't get one. And if he is a citizen with a second home on Earth (seems unlikely as they don't want to be here even when they have to be like Fichtner), it probably has to be located on Elysium anyway so people won't be trying to break into a house on Earth.

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I think this is a film that will improve with multiple viewings. How easily disappointed we are when we are comparing it to one of the best sci-fi films of the last decade.... I would rather watch Elysium 10 times on the toilet than the safe, kid friendly guff stinking up the multiplexes.

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I think this is a film that will improve with multiple viewings. How easily disappointed we are when we are comparing it to one of the best sci-fi films of the last decade.... I would rather watch Elysium 10 times on the toilet than the safe, kid friendly guff stinking up the multiplexes.

Well I'm only asking it to be compared to the last film by the same director. I think that's a fair enough question.

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