Matt Damon Month #4: Oceans 11, Elysium

Oceans Eleven was released in 2001 to worldwide acclaim, the remake of the 1960’s film follows a talented group of young men and their mission to rob a number of casinos in Las Vegas, on the same night. Their expertise ranges from con men to pickpockets and acrobats. The catch is that all the casinos are owned by the irritating and entitled Terry Benedict, the partner of one of the boys former lovers. The ensemble cast includes Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia and of course Matt Damon as a well-known pickpocket from a family of highly skilled and famous thieves. With director Steven Soderbergh at the helm, Oceans Eleven it’s no wonder this movie became a cult classic practically overnight.

Whilst the movie is technically an adventure style drama, really the humor is what really brings it all together, the witty banter between Clooney and Pitt is hilarious and just enough for the audience. Usually, when an ensemble cast is presented, a few cast members tend to fall behind but this is not the case with Oceans Eleven. Each character has a thorough back story with plenty of memorable moments. Although the ending is somewhat predictable and a little too Hollywood for my liking Oceans Eleven is definitely one of Matt Damon’s best movies to date. Although Pitt and Clooney are definitely more of the stars of the movie. Whether you’re into action, adventure, drama or comedy or even romance this movie really does have it all and does not skimp on the memorable scenes.

Elysium was released in 2013 and the big budget action packed adventure film did not hold back with special effects or graphics. Set on Earth in the year 2154 when overpopulation, starvation, and advanced technology has overtaken what we now know as Los Angeles. Following Damon’s character Max De Costa around his day to day life as a former car thief and now factory worker you see just how much of a wasteland Earth has turned into. Poverty overruns the streets and the rich and wealthy live in a space habitat known as Elysium, just out of reach in space. Throughout the movie you catch glimpses of Elysium, usually as something utterly terrible is happening on Earth.

The movie really kicks off when Max is exposed to extreme radiation during a workplace accident and without the proper and adequate care (there is no health system now) he will certainly die within five days as he is informed of all this by a robot. Desperate and refusing to die of radiation poisoning Max decides to seek out a well-known human smuggler, who could potentially transport him to Elysium where the cure is, hopefully.

All in all these movies packs a lot into 2 hours, whilst the storyline is strong and engaging the dialogue is a tad lackluster and at the time it leaves you a little lost and it could be easy to get distracted by the many explosions and fight scenes. Damon is definitely the saving grace in this film.


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