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Friday, 23 August 2013 00:00

Elysium (15)

Film
by Maria Duarte

Directed by Neill Blomkamp

The rise of the oppressed masses and the fight for free healthcare for all forms the backbone of this riveting, bleak and thought-provoking sci-fi adventure from the director of District 9.

It is set in 2154 and the ultra rich live the life of luxury on a manmade space station called Elysium where they have access to technology that can cure every illness known to man.

Meanwhile the rest of humanity is confined to an overpopulated Earth where crime, disease, poverty and pollution are rife.

Matt Damon plays an ordinary guy, riddled with radiation, who with just five days to live embarks on a dangerous mission to Elysium which if he succeeds could save his and the lives of millions of others.

Damon makes an earnest yet sympathetic hero who is pitted against Jodie Foster as Elysium's Secretary Delacourt and Sharlto Copley as her brutally sadistic henchman whose job is to stop illegal immigrants entering Utopia.

South African director Neill Blomkamp pulls no punches and doesn't disappoint in this, his eagerly anticipated follow-up to his hugely successful District 9.

It is just as smart and gritty and another socio-political critique this time on the criminal unfairness of the world's healthcare system.

But this is also a captivating action packed sci-fi movie which manages to entertain as well as instruct - no mean feat.

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