The Movie Elysium: What It’s Really About (Spoiler Alert)!

Just returned from seeing family in Louisiana and was lucky enough to fly on a plane that had TV’s in the back of the seat in front of you, even if you are in the very last seat of coach class, right next to the bathroom. Curse you guy across the aisle! Anyway, I chose to see Elysium, a movie released in August, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. Why did I choose that movie from over 500 choices? Here’s my rationale for movies on planes.


Whenever I have a few hours to spare on a plane and the movies are available for free, aside from the plane ticket, I choose a movie that I have a feeling may be bad and that I would not pay to download on Apple TV. I also choose an action flick because entertainment is what I’m looking for, not a movie that requires a great deal of focus, i.e. The English Patient (which I haven’t nor will I ever see). In case you aren’t familiar with Elysium, here’s the trailer (refresh the webpage if the video doesn’t appear):



So after watching that, what do you think the movie is about? Matt Damon trying to leave earth and get some of the good life on the space station Elysium that’s in Earth’s orbit and reserved for rich people? On the surface that’s what it looks like but here’s the spoiler….


It’s about universal healthcare! Hahahahahaha. The issue of universal healthcare is of course not funny but when you’re clonked over the head with the director’s political discourse, you can’t help but laugh. In another article by John Nolte on, he was equally disappointed in the movie but he thought it was more about the issue of illegal immigration. While I disagree that was the main point, it was certainly a point of the movie. And even though we disagree on the director’s primary moral lesson, we agree there was a political agenda forced upon the viewer.


So how was it about universal healthcare? On the space station Elysium, every home has a fancy body scanner, like a CT scan, that you lay in and are cured of whatever affliction you have. But this technology is not available on Earth. Which forces poor people on earth to blast into orbit and get onto Elysium, run into someone’s house and scan their body so as to cure their broken bones or leukemia. Matt Damon’s ultimate purpose is to get to Elysium and reboot the space station’s database which then recognizes the sick inhabitants on Earth as “citizens”, allowing the computer system on Elysium to dispatch medical spaceships (think of medical ships dispatched to Haiti) to Earth and provide care via the body scanners. Stop laughing, there’s more.


One of the bad guys has a South African accent and flies on a spaceship that has a South African flag. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I think the director was referencing South Africa’s history of apartheid! Lastly, to provide healthcare to everyone on Earth, Matt Damon’s character has to die to save the poor, weak, huddled masses. Obviously a very strong Jesus reference – apropos with Christmas just past and Easter coming up. Come to think of it, this movie is entertaining and bad in such a unique way that you should stop what you’re doing and go download it.


After watching it, let me know what you think.



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