District 9 haters rejoice, there are no prawns in this one. District 9 lovers, don’t worry there’s plenty of Wikus and shanty towns. Neill Blomkamp’s 2010 debut feature, District 9, was a massive hit around the world and he has returned to the big screen with Elysium. Half way through it I came to the conclusion that Neill Blomkamp is similar to Marmite. You either love him or hate him, directing wise – as a person he may be a lovely man. I love District 9 with a passion and I had burning desire to translate that passion to Elysium. Which I kinda did, but as I sat there I knew that my final thought of the film would be blighted by the District 9 echoes which run through it. So this is my best possible non biased look at Elysium.
Ok, so putting District 9 to one side, I enjoyed Elysium. The action when it came was well done, and the CGI was brilliant. However the plot is wafer thin similar to the character development. Matt Damon plays Max, the protagonist, who after having a fateful accident needs to make it to Elysium. Elysium is a massive spaceship which harbours people who can afford to live in mansions and be free of disease through med bays. He has to make it there to save himself, with a few hiccups along the way through Jodie Foster and Shartlo Copley. It opens with a flashback, a quick fire way to give a character back story, for the audience to sympathise and empathise with the hero from the off, to set up a love story, to set up why he deserves a better life. So now that you’ve got all that from the opening minute we crack on with the film. It’s formulaic to a point where you know the end from 30 minutes in. It takes a while to get going and similar to this review it’s a bit all over the place. Damon does well, but then you wouldn’t expect anything less. He takes one hell of a beating and you get the feeling that this is just pick on Damon day. However the biggest mention goes to Mr Sharlto Copley, how can one man be so good and be seen so little in Hollywood. Barring The A Team this is only his 3rd feature film. How?? He plays Kruger, a real piece of shit and at the beaconcall of Jodie Foster who’s running the show from Elysium. He is bat shit crazy and brilliant. He steals the show, from grenade eating to one liners.
So the final thought – this is very close to District 9, I know some people would argue against it but to me it is. If you liked that then the odds are you’ll like this. If not, watch it with an open mind. Based on that I’m going to split my recommendations.
Watch for: Brilliant CGI.
Avoid for: Jodie Foster’s weird accent.
Plot holes galore.
*Watch it now* – For District 9 Fans
Buy/ rent it
Wait for tv – Everyone Else
Watch it now for District 9 fans.
Wait for DVD for everyone else.
We’re The Millers
A film with so much promise which it fails to live up to, with the end result being an unfunny 90 minutes. Like all films the trailer has to grab the audiences attention and drag them in, show them a good idea with a decent cast and they’ll eat it up. The Millers did all that with the trailer, with the trailer containing all of the best bits. If they can be called the ‘best’ bits, the bits which are just funnier than the others.
If follows the story of David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) who gets forced to smuggle a ‘smidge of pot’ across the border from Mexico. However David knows that he will get searched if he goes alone, thus the search for a cast to play his family begins. With him eventually having a stripper and a hellraiser as part of his family, not forgetting his friend Kenny. Obviously a smidge of pot turns out to be a lot of pot and they have a few bumps along the way including a run in with a Mexican drug lord.
This sounds fun and as a film it is. It’s enjoyable but there are few laughs. And as a film marketed as one of the comedies of the year I was bitterly disappointed. The cast do well with a special mention going to Jennifer Aniston and the story is solid enough. But comedy wise it just never seems to click, there always seems to be something missing, and you know the film hasn’t been great when the funniest scene is in the blooper reel in the end credits. If you do go to see this in the cinema lower your expectations, don’t expect wonders and you may enjoy it.
Watch for: Weed baby.
Avoid for: Lack of laughs.
Not the storyline from the trailer.
Watch it now
Buy/ rent it
*Wait for tv*
Honourable mentions this week:
The Way, Way Back
Nice to a point where it nearly becomes too nice for it’s own good but quickly steps back from that.
It clings to Harry Potter and Twilight, trying desperately to follow on from their success. It’s easy, mindless viewing and the sequel is in production so well done to them. However the last 30 minutes… A bit weird to say the least.
Wait for DVD
More films of the week: