2 September 2013

Hobocop


Do you ever have one of those bruises that hurts to touch and yet you can't help but poke it anyway? Well, because I'm asking, I obviously do however I also kind of extend that destructive mentality into other aspects of my life. For example; I hate Piers Morgan with an absolute passion and yet I follow him on twitter. It's not that I want to contact him but instead, I get a small amount of pleasure from being pissed off with whatever shit the puffy, faced, gooch-wart has just tweeted. It's the same again for this fat cunt I know at my work who thinks he's my boss but really isn't. I won't say his name for fear of him getting me fired again so let’s just say that he's a work-shy hypocrite, with zero people skills and a weird vendetta against me. Oh, and his names Mike. Anyway anytime me and him have gotten into a dispute, the first thing I do afterwards is tell my friends about it when I get home. Whenever I'm reciting the twattish ways in which the thick, man-boobed bastard has spoken to me, I start to get genuinely wound up to the point where I know I'm going to start bleeding from my ears soon. Despite being filled with a seriously murderous rage though I still enjoy telling it. Maybe being able to recite the stories by passionately overusing the word  ‘fucktard’ is therapeutic or maybe I'm just a sucker for psychological self-harm.

Primary Objective: Get 10p for a cup of tea.
Either way, I only mention all of this because Elysium is the cinematic equivalent of the enjoyable bruise-poke. The film is set in the year 2154 when, surprise surprise- we've fucked the planet. Earth has become a shit pot of disease and pollution with the whole world now being almost as ugly and rat infested as the Welsh town of Rhyl. Still, if further proof was needed for the idea that shit floats, the grossly rich people are all fine and dandy having buggered off to a giant silver arse-hole in the sky. Orbiting Earth is a huge sphincter-shaped satellite called Elysium where all of the upper-classes with more money than backbone live luxuriously in a protected paradise. Whereas the working classes exist in squalor and degradation, the wealthy sky twats don't need to worry about a single thing. Matt Damon plays a poor, mistreated man with severe radiation poisoning and a massive bald head. Because he's only got a few days left to live, he decides to try and break into Elysium so that he can use their miracle, medical pods that cure humans of pretty much any illness. To do this he is strapped with a giant robot frame that allows him to punch the shit out of anything in his way and which also kind of makes him look like a tramp’s attempt at remaking Robocop... So I guess we could call him Hobocop? Blog title found! To complicate things even more, Elysium is currently experiencing a coup and because of some spoilerific shiz, Matt Damon is at the centre of it. With Damon battling against shadowy organisations, humans living in space and robots in charge of a fucked up Earth, Elysium is kind of a cross between The Bourne Ultimatum and Wall-E.

The reason I say that the film is like an enjoyable bruise-poke is because it's clearly designed to annoy the viewer. The rich are depicted as being either greedy and sociopathic or simply oblivious and shallow. If you wanted to draw a picture that would best demonstrate the main metaphor of the film then I guess you could draw Donald Trump and Paris Hilton as giants, just shitting all over the public. On Earth, Damon is simply trying to get by and yet anybody with any authority over him treats him like crap for no reason other than that they can. Maybe it was just me but seeing him get so badly mistreated was really about as annoying as getting a spicy thorn jammed into the end of your cock. However, like the arguments with my non-boss, the pleasure of seeing Damon abused is in the knowledge that soon he'll have the release of venting his anger. Whereas all I can do is wish cancer on the hateful fucktard at work, Damon simply goes apeshit, starts ripping off robots heads and exploding people’s faces. There's no denying that after seeing him get his arm broken by the police, watching Damon later going mental with a fuck off laser gun was quite satisfying.

As an action film, this is definitely light years ahead of some of the turgid dross that is shat into cinemas on a regular basis, however as a sci-fi it has one interesting issue. Generally films are criticised because they have very little to say other than, “give us your fucking money”. Despite the backlash, I remain a fan of Star Trek: Into Darkness but I'll still admit that the only original message that it really had was, “aren't Alice Eve's tits nice”. However the problem with Elysium is that perhaps it has too much going on to the point where nothing gets explored quite enough. As well as commenting on the huge divide in wealth it also touches on immigration, the recession, healthcare and totalitarianism. Any one of these things could have provided the focus of the film but instead they're all just background details to help build up the feeling of crappiness for life in the future. I mean, I would rather have a film with too many ideas than one with too few but I guess, ‘too much’ of anything is kind of a problem. Don't forget that on top of this there's also all the cool sci-fi shit to get into as well! The point is that a lot of ideas are great but it's a shame when their quantity is at the expense of really investigating any one of them completely. Imagine it like a locked-up brothel in Amsterdam in which several unobtainable but proper gorgeous whores are standing in the window trying to entice you in. It's not that you don't appreciate them being there but what you really want is the door unlocked so you can get wrist deep into just one of them. If anybody has a less offensively misogynistic metaphor than that then please feel free to send it in on a postcard.

Elysium is the second feature film to be directed by Neill Blomkamp with District 9 being the first. Although the odds are that I didn't need to tell you that, considering the two films share so much with each other. Elysium could really just be District 9's clone having had a shot of steroids stabbed straight into its nut-sack. Both movies can be seen as a metaphor for the apartheid however in the first film it was about sticking the “fooken prowns” in camps whereas this time it's about holding the povvy-poor on shitty Earth. Either way though, it's the same basic idea. The other link that the two films have is that they both feature an amazing performance from the apparently chameleonic Sharlto Copley. Fans of District 9 will remember Copley as the Ned Flanders looking Wikkus whose life goes tits-up when he carelessly shoots himself in the face with a shitty black can of alien jism. Here however he is literally unrecognisable as a psychotic, trampy mercenary with a huge sword and a massive pubey beard. I'm not exaggerating either when I say he was unrecognisable as two of my friends apparently didn't realise it was him at all. This is despite us having watched District 9 the night before and him having a voice more recognisable than the sound of a following-through shart on the bus.

Ah cud do weith sum fook'n 'elp with me brain pleeeese.
Although Copley does steal the film, in my opinion, that's not to say the rest of the cast aren't also equally brilliant. Jodie Foster does her icy bitch thing incredibly well again and this time even manages to treat us to a fun game of 'guess her accent'. Damon is also impressive and remains likeable even when his character turns out to be a full-on fucking creepy freak. Minor spoiler alert coming up now... So as a kid he falls in love with some girl and writes her a love note on himself. Several decades later after the two have well and truly lost contact they reconnect and it turns out he has that childhood message tattooed onto his fucking body. Not only that, but this is played off like a meaningful romantic moment! Err- what?! Let’s just imagine that for one second. So you find someone that you've not spoken to in tens of years and then discover that they've got fucking love notes to you etched permanently into their flesh. That's really not a sign of somebody in love is it? That's the sign of a fucking serial killer. The kind of person who cries himself to sleep whilst wearing his dead mum’s knickers and who’s probably given his favourite butchers knife a lovely ladies name. Still like I said, Damon's acting skill allows you to brush over this development and continue to treat the character as though he isn't an unhinged, murderous pervert. I know that he's wearing that robot suit for practical reasons but based on this revelation I'm surprised he didn't at least enquire about adding a couple of titty clamps too. End of minor spoiler!

So to conclude... Elysium is a great action movie and it's nice to see a film with so many ideas. It's just a small shame that those great ideas are so frequent and fast that it's like listening to an over-excited autistic kid recite an encyclopedia whilst on crack. This might not have been as amazing as District 9 but it was still very good and a great little distraction until Blomkamp's next presumably-brainy movie comes out. Also, who'd have thought that Matt Damon would make such a good Lex Luthor? If the constant rumours of Mark Strong and Bryan Cranston playing the part are anything to go by, the only criteria is apparently to have a massive bald head and Damon does that expertly here. Elysium might not quite be as good as District 9 but that's only because it ambitiously tries to do more and has significantly less scenes of Copley shrieking out “Fook yooo”… however, if you like the idea of mixing various politics themes with guns that turn people into a bastard-puddle of blood and shit then this is certainly the film for you. 

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