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Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Elysium" 2013 Matt Damon, Jodie Foster. A Dull Sermon about Obamacare and Open Borders in the Guise of a So-so Sci-fi flic

"Elysium" is a dull sermon about Obamacare and open borders in the guise of a so-so Sci-fi flic. The didactic aspect of the film is so heavy-handed it takes you right out of the movie, out of the willing suspension of disbelief. It doesn't help that "Elysium" lacks the arresting characters, clever plotting, or wowee special effects that break science fiction films out beyond the genre's diehard fans.

It's 2154 in a dystopic Los Angeles. LA is ugly and garbage-strewn, in a futuristic way. Almost everyone in LA is Hispanic or at least speaks Spanish. Max (Matt Damon), a bald and tattooed ex-con trying to go straight, is forced into taking on a high-risk crime for Spider (Wagner Moura), a crime lord. Max has to travel to Elysium, a space station where rich white Americans live in beauty and luxury, unlike the cursed denizens of earth, who are mostly Hispanic and live in garbage strewn slums and can't get adequate medical care. Elysium has med-beds. If you lie down on a med-bed, no matter what your ailment is, the med-bed will cure you.

Spider is plotting to breach Elysium's security and take it over, thus making med-beds and Elysium's breathtaking beauty available to all. He faces formidable foes.

Jodie Foster is the white, blonde Elysium antagonist. She is trying to protect Elysium from the Hispanic immigrants and sick people in search of health care who are attempting to enter. Kruger, played by Sharlto Copley, a South African actor, is her evil tool. There is no attempt to explain why someone with such a pronounced South African accent lives in LA. In any case, Copley's performance of an enthusiastic sadist is the best thing about the film.

There is a lot of chasing. Men put on metallic costumes that give them special powers. There are your usual hyped up guns and there are also some knives and swords. A lot of this feels like expedient cheating, as it always does in fantasy movies. There are special devices that detect runaways. Max is able to elude these super smart devices by hiding under pigs. The movie never explains, as these movies never explain, the rules of such gadgetry. If a character needs to get away to advance the plot, some trick will help him to get away.

I live in a non-futuristic, garbage-strewn slum. We have had liberal, Democratic government for generations. See Detroit. We've been hearing the same message for generations, the same message "Elysium" sends: "It's us versus them. We are human; they are cold and cruel. They live lives of perfect bliss. Their health problems are all taken care of. They only way for us to achieve anything is to take what they have."

This message, even in a grade C sci-fi flick, is toxic. Liberals do not help us, the poor, by telling us that we have nothing of value in ourselves, that it is only through taking what the rich have that we can have lives of value. Poor people do not benefit by discounting what they have and living lives of passive, deluded envy, focusing on what the rich have rather than focusing on their own skills and blessings, and cultivating their own opportunities.

If the Earthlings of "Elysium" succeeded in their goal, it wouldn't end there. It would end as the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Iranian Revolution and others ended: with terror, torture, rape, chaos, and "meet the new boss; same as the old boss." The real revolution starts when we look within and outside ourselves with love.

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