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TV & FILM

Five Ways ‘Elysium’ Could Have Been the Best Movie of the Summer

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bill-swift - August 15, 2013

Look, before everyone gets sand in their respective vaginae, I wanted to like Elysium. I wanted to love Elysium. I wanted Elysium to bear my Egotastic children and carry on the Egotastic family name.  But I wouldn't have even given Elysium cab fare after our brief and sad one night stand.

Barring certain rare exceptions, science fiction with social commentary is like bacon cheese fries to me: it doesn't matter in what ratio all of those things are assembled, I'm always going to eat the whole thing and I'm always going to enjoy it on some level. (Did that make sense? I think it did. Bacon cheese fries are among the greatest things on the planet.) So, when I saw Elysium this weekend, you can imagine how disappointed I was. It was like someone had handed me soggy chips covered in squeeze cheese and canned bacon bits.  But was it doomed from the start, or could it have been the best movie of the summer? I think it could have been. Here's how:

1.     Another Hour of Movie.

Yes. More movie, not less. At just shy of two hours, they clearly cut a ton of material that would have given us more to watch and to better understand the setting and the characters. That sounds simple, but they created this fascinating world full of fascinating concepts and we only saw a fraction of it. I want to see more of how awesome the orbiting space station Elysium is. I want to see sexbots and pleasure palaces. I want to see -- other than free healthcare -- why we should want to be there other than 'Earth sucks.' It can't just be a giant McMansion yuppie subdvision, can it?

2.     100% Less Jodie Foster.

Every time Jodie Foster was on screen it was like watching a never-ending shitstain of awkward. What the hell was that accent? Was she playing a cartoon villain from the 1950s? Why wasn't a competent actor like Sharlto Copley the aspiring grand-master of Elysium? Which brings me to...

3.     50% Less Sharlto Copley

That guy can act. I know this. I've seen District 9 a dozen times. He's a great actor who unnecessarily turned it up way past eleven for his role in Elysium. Sure, he looks scary and badass and what not, but holy shit, turn it down, man. Turn it way down. By, like, 50%. People start to not believe your crazy when it reminds them of bad-acting over-the-top-crazy.

4.     90% More Robots

Ok, Neill Blomkamp, let's talk. You spent nearly a year promoting the very notion of the terrifying future robots in this film. To boot, you're a master of animation. Everything I saw about this movie had to do with how much of a pain in the ballsack robots will be in the future. From the smarmy bureaucratic ones to the hunter-killer ones, they were supposed to be everywhere doing their robot thing. But instead, we got maybe 10 to 15 minutes total of robot fighting and robot terror and robot annoyance. Where are all of the ones that Matt Damon's character is building going to? Off-world colonies? Futuristic France? Where, sir, were the scary legions of robots?

5.      75% More Visible Ladyskin

We got one shot of one futuristic hardbody. One. Sure, she's disease free, thanks to Medpods, or whatever but that was all we got: 30 seconds. Again, what's the point of living on a futuristic floating heavenly space station if it is, indeed, devoid of heavenly lady-bodies?

Next time, Elysium. Next time.

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