Critics' Corner: Elysium

Matt Damon broke onto the movie scene as an actor and a screenwriter with "Good Will Hunting" and then became a bankable action star with the "Bourne" movies. Not that I would call Damon an action star, but he may just be one of the rangiest actors Hollywood has to work with. Heâ??s the very definition of a fine actor. His ability to tackle everything from silly Farrelly Brothers movies like "Stuck on You", to "Promised Land" to "Elysium" assures that he will be around for a long, long time.

"Elysium" is a classic story being told in a not entirely new fashion. Itâ??s the classic story of power overwhelming the powerless; those with money and opportunity monopolizing that opportunity and leaving those without to squander through their existences. Much of "Elysium" rings true today and since this film is set 140-years from now, its realism and possibility arenâ??t beyond belief. Earthâ??s natural resources have dried up and so the haves, or the hugely wealthy, built a space station called "Elysium" and left the rest behind. Max DeCosta (Damon) is a typical blue-collar worker whos circumstances send him through a fast and faster escalating series of life changing events.

Everything about "Elysium" is well done, all the way down to the casting of two children who look exactly like Damonâ??s character and Frey (Alice Braga), Maxâ??s childhood friend. The story is constantly changing and engrossing. It was quite simply the fastest 109 minutes I have spent at the movies in a long time. Your heart is invested in the characters and the ruthlessness and power of the bad guys gives you a constant feeling of danger and overwhelming odds; just as a movie like this should.

It isnâ??t a deal breaker, but like "Oblivion" and many other movies that have come out in recent years or months, "Elysium" is a collage of many movies that have come before; "Johnny Mneumonic", "Robo Cop", "In Time" and "Mad Max", with a heavy emphasis on "Johnny Mneumonic". Despite this though, the movie has legitimacy about it and all of its elements are well thought out. This adds to the beauty of the film and it is beautiful. From the personalities that it explores to the plite, "Elysium" is a power film.

Other than some overzealous shaky camera moments that I continue to hate in every movie I see them, "Elysium" is more satisfying than all of the superhero movies that came out his summer put together. I understand the art form that is shaky camera, but to have the camera shaking to the extent that you actually think about what the cameraman is doing to make it shake so much, it is bad. "Elysium", despite this, is the kind of movies that we all should be going to see. Itâ??s the kind of movie that Hollywood needs to be making more of because it sticks with you and doesnâ??t leave you with the constant unsatisfied feeling you get from the superhero movies.