Elysium is a pretty solid action movie with a nice message underneath it all. Unfortunately, it’s not quite District 9 and there have been rather a lot of solid action movies this year.

I really don’t have that much more to say about it. I really liked the visuals–particularly the contrast between the gritty utilitarianism of Earth and oh so shiny, plants in the computer rooms of Elysium. I liked the acting.  was a solid reluctant hero and I really liked ’s performance as Spider.

One thing that I found interesting is that the average action movie this summer has been rated PG-13 or less. The ratings system has never been particularly hard on violence and there’s a lot you can do to be violent without actually showing the nitty gritty. In the case of Elysium, you could forget for a while that it was rated R… then Matt Damon would get open brain surgery. You’d forget a bit more… and someone’s face would get blown off and reconstructed. It was just enough to really drive home that this is not a pretty future.

I think my biggest problem with this movie was that it was a touch too busy. We had the main story line with Max being forced back into a life of crime to get to Elysium. But then we also had a power grab by ’s Delacourt, the vague love story / motivation for self-sacrifice, and whatever was going on with Kruger. I get that he was supposed to be of the sort that just wanted to hurt people, but what convinced him to fly Max up to Elysium? What convinced him to keep fighting so long and so hard?

Like I said, it’s a solid movie and probably the best action movie in theaters at the moment (although some might argue the case for Kick-Ass 2). But overall, it’s been a good summer for that sort of thing. I think I’ll put Elysium in at #6.