Saw it yesterday, and was not impressed at all...i don't normally go to these lengths in a film review so early, so bear with me here...
I'll start by saying that this movie was one of the films i was MOST excited about since i saw the trailer early this year, and going into it as a fan of District 9, I was also quite hyped to see what Neil Blomkamp was going to create. I don't think he failed at story telling, but i think he really miscast this film, here's a few reasons why...
- Matt Damon: This was the 3rd worst casting in the film, but not by fault of Matt Damon, the guy is just too large a star for the character of Max in this film. We needed a more "everyday joe" kind of guy, because the character of Max was simply a good kid who was born on the wrong side of the tracks and ended up a petty thief and hum drum factory worker. Damon is just too much of a star to pull off this kind of portrayal (maybe he could have done it back in the Good Will Hunting days), and it really bothered me through the whole film...the whole time I'm struggling to believe he could "fall in line" so to speak, and then you start to see that even the story couldn't contain the character, and they had to start making him larger than life.
- Kruger: Not sure if anyone here noticed, but this was the same guy who played the main character in District 9 (Blomkamp's first film)...and this absolutely KILLED the main opponent in this film for me. The guys name is Sarlto Copley, and in District 9, he was PERFECTLY cast to his abilities...a nerdy, dweeby kind of soft heart who was naive to the world and fell victim to it because of such...he's not a bad ***, he's not a tough guy, and he's NOT what Kruger should have been. It was the 2nd worst casting portion of this film, because the guy couldn't fill the "psychotic sociopath" that Kruger was obviously supposed to be.
- Jodie Foster: This character ruined the film for me. She's terrible. When she plays a secondary character in a film, she's somewhat tolerable but here, she plays the female lead, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out what dialect they were trying to give her nor can i fathom what made them think she was the right choice for this militant Elysium leader...thinking further about the character, it was not written well really because the plot line for the character didn't really make sense...she starts the story by wanting elysium to fall under her style leadership, but then when she's presented with an easy opportunity to do such (by simply allowing Damon to come to elysium and upload the kill switch to the core), she sends all her military might after them to destroy them...WHY? It's like wanting a new car, going to a dealership and having a guy go "Hey, I can get you a new car." so you kill him, everyone else in the room and then go "Damn, how am I supposed to get a new car now?"
...there were some redeeming qualities to this film, Neil Blomkamp is the MASTER of weapons design and imagination. Some of the guns (just like in District 9) were so awesomely bad *** that i hope we see them again in another film. I'm starting to think, though, that maybe his expertise and real talent isn't in writing or directing film, but in environmental design and plot tool development...he made an absolutely beautiful world (both the plagued earth and elysium itself), but the story within it was weak in so many areas, it fell so short.
In the end, I'd recommend if you want to see this film, wait for the blu-ray or DL'ed version. On my scale I give it a single , maybe another half beer for the cool weapons.