Most helpful positive review
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Survival when things go wrong.
on January 21, 2010
Limited cast, if you don't count the monsters, that pull off the plot nicely. I have to admit that it's nice to see a few movies come out that rely not only on the cinematography, effects, and story, but also include a limited cast that can act.
Two of the crew of the fifth shift charged with running the Elysium for their two year stint awake from hyper-sleep, their memories ravaged by the prolonged slumber soon come to realize that is the least of their problems. Not only do they have to deal with the major gaps in their memory, their flight training and underlying psychological traits remaining relatively intact, they also have to solve the mystery of what has happened to their vessel. Quaid stays in the sleep chamber/command center and sends Foster off through service ducts in search of a way to open the door to the command center. As with all plans of mice and men that's when their plans have to adapt to what they find along the way.
What they find is a failing ship inhabited by creatures, reminiscent of John Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars", who are fast, intelligent, and possessed of a need to feed on whatever food that presents itself which includes their own wounded. The creatures while being part of the peril they face are minor players while Quaid and Bower work at rediscovering who they are and their roles in relation to each other and themselves as well as the other individuals they meet. The movie revolves around the examination of the range of traits that humanity can express from depravity to hero while trying to survive in adverse circumstances.
On the one hand while being a psychological thriller it also is just plain good sci-fi. The movie is plausible in it's presentation of science as a background to roles of people dealing with that science when it goes wrong. The sets, lighting, and photography, are all handled really well, and does well in the "suspension of disbelief."
Overall it is rich in the visuals, acting, and story line and well worth the watch.