My thoughts on “Elysium”: A missed opportunity

Having just seen Elysium a couple of days back I wanted to speak a little to the technology side of the movie. I was expecting a lot of cool gadgetry but what I found was actually quite different. Now remember that this movie takes place in the year 2154 so I expected to see a completely different world, nothing like ours. The habitat of Elysium mind you was very cool when I first saw it at the beginning of the movie but from there we really don’t get a view into much of the technology used in 2154. In fact the movie goes downhill after about 15 minutes.

Apparently people (on Earth) are still using laptops and monitors from 2013 which is 140 years in the past. In fact people are still driving vehicles from 2013. GMC has some product placement here and that made me wonder if the company will still exist 140 years into the future and if they will still be manufacturing identical vehicles. Whatever happened to self driving cars? If Google is working on that now shouldn’t we have self-driving vehicles by at the most 2030?

Some comments I’ve read on review sites alluded to the fact that to enter the habitat of Elysium itself the entire system needs to allow for all ships to enter the atmosphere temporarily. I would think that there would be some kind of system in place to allow a portion of the atmosphere to be compromised in order to allow a ship to gain entry.

The scenes where the Earth folk are interacting with tech to hack into the Elysium system appear to be laptops from 140 years prior. The appearance of old technology was distracting to me as when I’m watching a science fiction flick I’m expecting there to be a large degree of imagination used in designing the future worlds. I want to see self-driving cars and robots that have a huge degree of intelligence or tech even beyond this.


The Matrix did a great job of predicting a future existence and didn’t have much in the way of old artifacts except as portrayed in the Matrix itself which was a program run by machines. Elysium doesn’t really allude to the point in time where Elysium and Earth split but I suppose we have to assume that there was a nuclear holocaust around 2013 as that is where the technology is at.

This however still doesn’t add up as none of the tech is going to be operational 140 years into the future. We don’t see our streets lines with Ford Model T cars so why should earth 140 years in the future see vehicles from 2013 lining the streets? Using laptops and tablets that appear to be from 2013 is laughable. I’m sure there will be some other kinds of input devices invented between now and 2154 right?

From a futurist standpoint Elysium was a complete failure. The movie was a missed opportunity. The producers should have focused on many things such as the habitat of Elysium and the technology of that future era. There were many other things wrong with the movie including lack of character development and the acting itself. Don’t get me started on Jodie Foster’s acting which was painful to watch.

Overall I wouldn’t recommend Elysium and was disappointed with many aspects of the movie. I hope somebody plans to remake the movie in the future with a different set of producers, actors and set designers though as the premise is solid and could have been vastly more entertaining and thought provoking.

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