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Spoilerific Thoughts about Elysium

Having avoided any reviews or discussion on io9 about this movie, I was able to go see it tonight and thought I'd share my thoughts. Minor spoilers follow (though mostly apparent from the trailers).

The central conceit of the story is pretty clear: class warfare has reached epic proportions, and now the 1% live on a space station / orbital country club, while the 99% live in endless slums on a dying Earth. Got it.

Except; those 1-percenters have a fairly self-contained biosphere; man-portable force-fields; rocket motors capable of propelling small shuttles (and shoulder-fired surface to air missiles) into high orbit with no external fuel tanks; and healing beds that can reorganize living tissue at the atomic level.


So, why aren't they using all this tech to heal the Earth and colonize the rest of the solar system? They state that the earth is massively overpopulated, but a) population growth on Earth is slowing down as we speak, and b) if they can build one orbital habitat, why not many? Why aren't there colonies on the moon and mars?

I mean, I get the whole "the rich are heartless bastards" motif, but Blomkamp created a post-scarcity level of technology in his story, but neglected to update his economic & social theory to match it.

I didn't hate the movie—I saw it for cheap, and don't regret it; but I have a feeling this is going to bug me for a few days. Instead of a tight SF film with biting social commentary, it's pretty much just a space-themed action movie where the villain is rich people. Ah well.

Did anybody else who saw it have this feeling?

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