A good number of people are terribly disappointed by Elysium. I feel for them, I really do. It sucks when a movie doesn’t live up to your expectations. I’m less sympathetic to weak attempts at arguments as to why a movie didn’t work for a given group of viewers, and tend to think that with the subjective nature of watching, it easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because a lot of people are making the same criticisms of a movie, then those criticisms surely must be pretty much objectively true and designate the movie as a bad one. I don’t buy it. Sometimes the standards people set for a movie are kind of bullshitty, and I think this is happening with Elysium right now.
That’s not to say that the criticisms are necessarily invalid, or that Elysium is necessarily an outstanding movie. There are aspects of it I found particularly strong—things others have pointed out, the production design and the lead performance by Matt Damon, not to mention the force of nature that is Sharlto Copley—but others that I was less enamored with. It may simply come down to a half-glass evaluation. My position is simply that there are counterarguments to be made toward some of the beefs people had with the movie, and my philosophy is that is a reasonable explanation can be given to alleviate a perceived weakness in a movie, that’s enough to tip the scales back in the direction of positive evaluation. That could just be naïve relativism, but I’m sticking to it for now.
Here are the 7 weakest criticisms I’ve been reading about Elysium so far, and why they don’t necessarily hold up.
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