The science was sketchy, and the plot was full of holes, but the politics were right on. When the hero gets a radiation overexposure on the job because his boss ignores safety regulations early in the film, Mme Reclus muttered under her breath, “Just like in the mines.” She is a Pennsylvania coal miner’s daughter.
Synopsis: the Ownership Class are retiring to gated communities (in near earth orbit!)with guaranteed Major Medical while the hoi polloi makes do as best they can speaking Spanglish in a blasted urban landscape with second-rate mass-production medical care administered by faceless (robotic) bureaucrats.
The tech and art direction will be instantly familiar, South African director/writer Neill Blomkamp gave us “District 9″, so the movie is visually interesting, and the orbiting executive ghetto where the job creators and other one percenters live in suburban golf-club splendor is a beautiful contrast to the squalor of mid-21st century LA. (Think: beautiful downtown Aleppo.) The “Elysium” of the title, will remind you of an exclusive Ringworld, no doubt designed by Del Webb and financed by The Donald..
The movie could be better SF, but keep an eye on Jody Foster as a deliciously evil executive bitch, a Carly Fiorina on steroids, fighting tenaciously to preserve “our freedoms and all we’ve worked for”. If you don’t mind your metaphors a little obvious and ham-fisted, you’ll have no trouble picking out the parallels between the wimpy and ineffectual (but totally sold-out) liberal Elysium executives, the impeccably groomed and coiffed Establishment Republican management, and their barely under control Tea Party thug enforcers. When you factor in the 47% marooned dirtside, you get the perfect tetrafecta: Bosses, Babbitts, Bunkers and Bubbas.