As everybody knows by now, this has been a rough summer at the box office, with movie after movie going in the toilet. Elysium, which is Neill Blomkamp’s big studio follow up to District 9, has been looked at as a possible hope to bring the box office back from the brink. Now the official reviews are in, and what’s the verdict?
Variety feels the movie “delivers a less dazzling” movie than District 9, but that Elysium is an “absorbing and intelligent bit of futurism. Result confirms the helmer as much more than a one-hit wunderkind and should easily surpass District 9’s $210 million worldwide haul, if not its massive profit margin.”
Yet the Hollywood Reporter feels that “Vivid visuals and a pointedly political context are let down by conventional action and conceptual limitations in another big budget Sony shortfaller.” (That’s a reference to Sony’s especially bad time at the box office this season with After Earth, which will probably be the biggest bomb of the summer.)
The Wrap headlined their review, “Bang Go the Guns, Kaboom Go the Metaphors.” The Wrap felt the movie “over-deliver[ed] on the message,” but at the same time, “as an effects-laden action piece, Elysium delivers the goods. It might not be the thinking man’s fill-in-the-blank that some viewers were eagerly anticipating, but it’s a solid adventure that oversells its deeper meanings.”
So it seems the verdict so far could be that Elysium may not deliver the most profound message, and it might deliver it in a heavy handed way, but if the action delivers, it’s doubtful the audience is going to mind that much.