Future looks dark in thriller ‘Elysium’
With “Elysium,” a nightmarish action thriller set in an apocalyptic future, South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp proves that he’s the reigning master of dystopian political allegory. “Elysium” doesn’t pack nearly the same punch as his 2009 debut, “District 9,” and its political agenda is far more ham-handed, but Blomkamp’s breathing new life into a time-honored genre.
Set in 2154, “Elysium” takes place in Los Angeles, a polluted, overpopulated, chaotic police state run by greedy corporate interests and ruthless robo-cops, and where an ex-convict named Max (Matt Damon) works in a factory making the armed metallic thugs who routinely oppress him. With his head shaven to a cue-ball sheen and his body covered in tattoos, Damon all but abandons his clean-cut image to play a buff, cynical anti-hero.
When Max is sent on a mission to Elysium, an elite satellite compound hundreds of miles from ravaged Earth, it’s not to save mankind but to save himself. An encounter with his childhood love, played by Alice Braga, will test Max’s tough-guy reserve.
Extras on the DVD (Sony, $31) include behind-the-scenes featurettes. The Blu-ray ($41) adds an extended scene, a three-part documentary and an interactive exploration of the art and design of the film.
Also out Tuesday
Movies: “Family,” “Force of Execution,” “Kick-Ass 2,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Night Train to Lisbon,” “One Direction: This Is Us,” “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” “Prisoners.”
TV: “Burn Notice” (Season 7), “Family Guy” (Vol. 12), “Justified” (Season 4), “The Mod Squad” (Season 5), “Psych: The Musical,” “Shadow on the Mesa,” “Shameless” (Season 3), “The Sound of Music: Live!”
Blu-ray: “The Beast Within,” “The Blue Angel” (special edition), “Crawlspace.”
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