The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy shouldn’t be surprised that director Neil Blokamp’s “latest politically tinged sci-fi feature” falls apart during the third act. So did Blokamp’s first politically tinged sci-fi feature, the overrated but promising “District 9.” According to McCarthy’s astute review, though, “Elysium” goes a step further into the arena of wild left-wing, Hollywood hypocrisy.
Here is how McCarthy describes the world and plot of what is likely another box-office bomb from star Matt Damon:
Blomkamp sets the dystopian juices flowing with images of future sprawling slums and urban ruin that one might initially take to be Mexico City or Sao Paulo but that are soon identified as belonging to Los Angeles in 2154. Most of the beleaguered inhabitants seem to speak Spanish and do menial labor if they do anything at all, while good health care is very difficult to come by.
By contrast, hovering far above Earth and appearing like a five-spoked wheel in the sky is Elysium, an enormous space station where the rich live in a stress-free country club environment enhanced by marvelous technology that can cure any ailment, meaning that life can theoretically go on indefinitely.
Dude, if McCarthy’s description is accurate (I haven’t seen the movie) that is not Los Angeles in the year 2154, that is Los Angeles today.
The only difference is that the “five-spoked wheel in the sky” called Elysium is really — wait for it — the Hollywood Hills.
While I have no doubt Blokamp and Damon snickered wildly as they went over the script (probably in the thousand-dollar-a-night Caligula Suite at the W on Sunset Boulevard), what these two left-wing rocket scientists probably missed is that their lofty metaphor (likely aimed at America and Republicans), isn’t really a metaphor. The place in which they currently work, snicker, frolic, and make millions, is in fact Elysium.
If you want to experience “Elysium” today, just drive down Wilshire or Melrose. In just a couple of miles those famous boulevards turn from a gorgeous, mile-high, palm tree-lined gilded city where the Matt Damons shop, dine, exercise, enema, valet, facelift, chant, and enjoy the greatest healthcare in the world — to shit-hole city: urban sprawl, graffiti, crime, filth, and grinding poverty.
But no matter where you are — even if you’re hip-deep in the homeless — all you need do is look up and there it is; that bright, shiny, magic gated place known as Elysi– er, the Hollywood Hills.
And that is not the worst of it. In a city that on paper should be a Liberal Utopia, if you want your life expectancy to drop 20 years, you need only find a place to live just a few miles from Hollywood — a place known as east of the 101 and south of the 10.
But even from there, on a clear day (lol), you can see Elysium; and if you squint real hard, you can see the eternally young Matt, Ben, Jack, Brad, Meryl, Julia, and George sitting by shimmering pools, sipping drinks, and using million dollar bills to wipe away socialist tears borne of the horror show playing out below them.
Those are tears of laughter.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC