|This is not Halo... okay well it sort of is.|
Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! As promised, yesterday I went to the movies to see Elysium, and I got a lot more than I bargained for. Starring Matt Damon as Max, a former criminal now factory worker, Elysium is set in the future, in the year 2154. The Earth as far as we see is an almost entirely dessicated rock, overcrowded and completely polluted. The wealthy elite live in a space habitat called Elysium, where they have magic tubes that keep them from aging or being sick, and they live in opulent space luxury. Meanwhile on Earth people struggle to survive, and mostly seem to be failing. Max is among these people and let me run you through a quick day in the life: Leave early for work, get hassled by some bangers about working. Get stopped by robot police, make a sarcastic joke, have your arm broken by said robot police. Report to a robotic parole officer, who adds eight months to your parole, and does the robot equivalent of telling you to piss off. Offers you pills for your anger. Finally get to awful dangerous factory job, get docked half a day's pay for being late because robots assaulted you while waiting for the bus. The next day, basically be forced into a radioactive pressure cooker, be exposed to a lethal dose of rads, get given some pills by a robot and told you're dead in 5 days. Welcome to the future.
|The bad guy in this movie was the protagonist in District 9.|
|This is the closest to a hero we get.|
|Jodie Foster is the evil queen of space.|
|OR have dudes in exo-suits doing heavy labor.|
|Fucking asshole robots.|
Anyway, while it was a well composed movie and it was reasonably well executed, some seriously unexplained shit and my own emotional distress kept me from really enjoying this movie too much. I think my real problem was less what characters were doing, and more why they were doing it. I'm all for grim darkness in the dystopian future, but even in that setting, you either want it to be ALL about the grimness, or you want to have a good guy, even if that good guy is just the mercenary who sighs before he turns around to jump in and help. The problem with Max is there is just never that choice. He doesn't really choose to help anyone other than himself. It just sort of works out that he doesn't have much of an alternative. It's the choice to do good that makes a person seem heroic in a movie, even if they're also kind of a scumbag. I felt like the movie was trying to sell me on "look at this guy he's saving everyone! What a hero." whereas really it was more like "Look at this guy trying to save himself, but then he fucks that up and ultimately can choose to either help everyone and die, or not help anyone and die". That makes the act seem a lot less impressive to me. Still I would've been okay with that if the movie hadn't been trying to TELL me one thing, while it SHOWED me something else. You might feel differently than me, but ultimately I think that was the biggest thing that kept me from really liking Elysium. I should also mention that it was pretty gruesomely violent too, so be ready for that as well.
That's all for today! Join me next week for GI Joes and other stuff, most certainly we will be hearing about Kick Ass 2, which hits theaters this Friday!