In the 2154 AD of “Elysium,” the Earth is a cancerous ball of misery for the 99 percent while the wealthy live in the orbiting paradise of the title — it resembles a cross between the space station in “2001” and a hood ornament on a Mercedes. Matt Damon, in scowly meat-and-potatoes mode, plays an ex-con factory worker who has to get to the healing med-pods of Elysium before he dies of radiation poisoning.
South African director Neill Blomkamp made a splash in 2009 with “District 9” and this is his Hollywood reward: An expertly-made slice of future shock that breaks no new ground whatsoever. Lots of action, a muddled social message, and Jodie Foster in arguably the worst performance of her career as a fascist politician. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Ty Burr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.