In response to Some Reviewers Turned Off by the Politics of Elysium:
People are complex and surprising.
Politics — to someone who has a firm belief in a certain politics — are simple and obvious.
As a movie moves towards the “simple and obvious” away from the “complex and surprising,” it’s little wonder it becomes less interesting.
Even among liberals — and most critics are Severely liberal, as Mitt Romney might say — there is something akin to The Matrix phenomenon at play.
Agent Smith said the first Matrix, a Matrix unseen in the film, was a paradise, without strife or pain or ugliness or death.
And the human brain-slaves of the Matrix rejected it — they knew it wasn’t real. So they added in, well, 200o’s era Los Angeles, and that did the trick. Now the human brain-slaves believed the illusion. It had grit. It had trash. It had discord.
Even a Severely Liberal critic might balk when “The Matrix” a filmmaker presents to him is such a pandering, simplistic conception of the messy thing we call The Real World. Even a Severely Liberal critic might miss that feel of grit in a movie. Something that feels like it was conceived by a human being as an entertainment for other human beings, and not by a socialist-minded AI who’s just dying to tell you about this great screenplay idea he has.
By the Way: I just had the odd feeling that I didn’t make up that Matrix thing, that either you or John Haywood did, and now I’m just repeating back to you what you’ve already written.
If so, I’m sorry. I don’t remember reading it, but now I’m kind of wondering if that tumbled out a bit too easily, as if from memory rather than through creation.