(Left Wing Propaganda) Movie Review: Elysium

Elysium Movie Poster

The latest blockbuster movie, Elysium, is ripe full of left wing propaganda.  So much so I was surprised to see no Super PAC was funding it or Hillary Clinton saying she approves of this movie’s message.  Every villain in the movie is in the extreme conservative while every good, hard working person appear to be fighting for left wing causes.

A little background information first before I jump into all the propaganda points.  Elysium takes place in the “far” future of 2154.  However the director, Neill Blomkamp, says “This isn’t science fiction. This is today. This is now.”  The world is divided into two classes of people.  The people on Earth who are suffering and working hard to make a living.  And then there are the people on Elysium.  Elysium is an incredibly large space station which for all intents and purposes isn’t a space station.  It has its own atmosphere, gravity and full habitation complete with homes, grass yards, trees, etc.  Elysium houses the ultra-wealth who controls major corporations and lives a life with “no poverty, no war, no sickness.”

Max Da Costa (played by Matt Damon)

Max Da Costa (played by Matt Damon)

The movie follows the trying times of the hero of the movie, Max Da Costa, on Earth played by Matt Damon.  Max represents the all American man trying to survive.  He works hard to keep his job and not cause a lot of trouble.  While he doesn’t have much money, he is still very charitable and willing to help others.

Jessica Delacourt (played by Jodie Foster)

Jessica Delacourt (played by Jodie Foster)

The main villain is Elysium’s Secretary of Defense, Jessica Delacourt played by Jodie Foster.  She vigilantly defends Elysium from illegal immigrants.  Immigrants whom are trying to go to Elysium to use their advance medical devices called Med Pods that can cure cancer on the spot.  No, I am not making this up.  Delacourt also uses some very questionable and mentally unstable agents on Earth led by a man called Kruger (played by Sharlto Copley) to shoot down these illegal immigrant ships.

Elysium President Patel raised concerns about Delacourt using such dubious methods and threatened to fire her over them.  In return, she seeks to rig the system to overthrow President Patel and make her the new president.  To do so, she made a deal with Armadyne Corporation CEO, John Carlyle (played by William Fichtner), to modify the Elysium system in return for 200 years worth of defense contracts.

Naturally, the plan goes awry when Max enters the picture.  Because let’s face it, the Republicans villains shouldn’t win.

Kruger (played by Sharlto Copley)

Kruger (played by Sharlto Copley)

That’s enough background for this article.  Let’s actually talk about what makes this a left wing propaganda film and how everything bad is republican and everything good is democrat.

One of the beginning scenes features, Delacourt defends Elysium from a group of immigrants.  And by defend, I mean, by killing the immigrants.  Delacourt represents the natural progression of the Republican’s immigration policies.  From self deportation, building a giant wall at the border, and a mandatory verification for jobs, Blomkamp uses Delacourt to illustrate what will eventually happen if Republicans get their way in immigration policy.  Obviously, this differs from the Democrat’s view of converting them into citizens.  This becomes even more apparent when Max to literally make everyone a citizen of Elysium.

Delacourt and President Patel argue about Delacourt’s methods.  Patel might not represent Obama specifically, but Patel does imply a minority (at least in America).  Additionally, Delacourt’s reaction is to rig the system to become the next president.  This mimics the recent arguments of Democrats against the new Voter ID laws, recently enacted to prevent the rare voter fraud.  Democrat’s complaints: the new Voter ID laws unfairly discriminates against minorities which helped them win the past two presidential elections.

In another scene, the movie shows a complete lack of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Max has to go in a stuck piece of machinery since he was holding everyone back.  Of course, when Max pointed out the dangers of going in, his boss threatened to replace him.  Max wanting to keep his job got the machine running again but unfortunately with him in it.  As a result, Max received a “full dose” of radiation and will die in 5 days.

If that happened in real life, it would be gross negligence and mismanagement.  However, in the movie, OSHA doesn’t seem to exist and Max was given a bottle of pills as compensation.  As a refresher, Republicans wants to reform OSHA as the regulations are overreaching and prevents company growth.  OSHA regulations “should be a helpful guide, not a punitive threat.”  On the other hand, Democrats say OSHA should “continue to adopt and enforce comprehensive safety standards.”

Frey (Alice Braga) carrying her daughter, Matilda (Emma Tremblay), searching for a Med Pod while guarded by Crowe (Josh Blacker)

Frey (Alice Braga) carrying her daughter, Matilda (Emma Tremblay), searching for a Med Pod while guarded by Crowe (Josh Blacker)

Final point is why are all these people want to go to Elysium?  It’s purely for the Med Pods that are for Elysium citizens only.  These pods can fix nearly anything (and I do mean nearly anything) in just a short amount of time.  And seemingly, the only requirement is being an Elysium citizen.  If this is reminding you of a certain bill, that’s because it is it.  Naturally, Delacourt, being the Republican villain, wants to stop the people of Earth from using said Med Pods while Max, being the Democrat hero, fights to give people access to use these machines.

Now you might say these points may be a coincidence and necessary for the setting of the movie.  However, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Blomkamp said, “This isn’t science fiction. This is today. This is now.”  This definitely shows the director intent to make the film mirror our current events.  And how Republican side is villainized throughout the film while the Democrat side is played as the hero makes this propaganda film.

Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) fighting

Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) fighting

And the review part.  The storyline and characters are straightforward and nothing to write home about.  A few parts felt contrived but easy to push aside in your mind.  The visuals are great but the designs are lacking.  The action feels intense and is the main reason for watching.

Score: 7/10

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