Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

13 August 2013

Force Fields and Fields of the Dead

Elysium is the action-movie of the summer, in case you hadn't figured that out yet.

Neill Blomkamp certainly knows how to do a bleak dystopian future. Elysium is a totally action-packed adventure film, filled with lots of great set pieces, tons of explosions, firepower, and insanely advanced and fascinating weaponry.

Not only is the film totally fascinating from a "look what these badass weapons can do" perspective, Elysium – because this dystopian future contains machines that can achieve all sorts of medical miracles – also contains some really exciting images of the impact of those weapons on the human body.

In fact, Elysium's entire focus is the human body. This is a movie about healthcare: who has access to it and who does not (and why). But the film also makes a point of detailing and examining what happens to bodies that have been shot, that suffer explosions, that are poisoned by radiation, that are malnourished, that are given steroids or other medication. This and more make the movie a fascinating must-see.

My favorite part of the movie (amid several things I loved) was the way that the movie is paced. Elysium feels short – it is paced so that fast-moving action sequences are followed by slower-paced but still tension-filled sequences that allow for the intensity of Blomkamp's movie to build over time, heading toward a totally awesome finish that feels completely earned.

I'm not gonna say too much more about it, but I thought Elysium was better than World War Z, Pacific Rim, and Star Trek: into Darkness, and I liked all of those films a lot. Amid a great summer for action movies, Elysium is a stellar finish.