The year is 2154. While most of the population lives in squalor on the surface of Earth, the wealthy inhabit a space station called Elysium
That is governed by President Patel (Faran Tahir) and his no-nonsense Secretary Of Defense, Delacourt (Jodie Foster).
She is charged with ensuring that refugee ships from Earth do not land on Elysium to take advantage of medical bays installed in every home.
Back in the slums on terra firma, factory worker Max DeCosta (Matt Damon) grafts long hours for meagre pay. He is involved in an industrial accident resulting in exposure to dangerous levels of radiation.
Max knows his only hope is to breach Elysium’s defences so he can access a medical bay and banish the cancer that is ravaging his system
Local criminal Spider (Wagner Moura) agrees to help if Max will help to steal secrets from the mind of John Carlyle (William Fichtner), CEO of the corporation responsible for constructing Elysium.
A deal is struck and Max is fitted with an exoskeleton, hardwired into his brain, to bolster his strength and allow a data download from Carlyle’s mind.
However, the path to Elysium is littered with obstacles, not least Delacourt’s favourite contract killer, a sadistic mercenary called Kruger (Sharlto Copley).
Elysium is an entertaining yarn which unfolds at a brisk pace, punctuated with flashbacks to Max’s childhood to establish a romantic bond with a nurse called Frey (Alice Braga). Action sequences are slickly orchestrated and Blomkamp brings the surviving characters for a rousing slam-bang finale.