October 15, 2013

Elysium - A Cyberpunk/Shadowrun Film

Elysium is a film released here in the States on August 9th and by the time this article is posted will likely be out of the first run theaters (though it might still be around in second run theaters). It stars Matt Damon and was produced/written/directed by the same person who did the sci-fi film District 9. It is billed as a big budget summer action film. From the trailers this looked like another straightforward sci-fi film. However, as I watched it I quickly realized this was very much a cyberpunk genre film.

It has so many of the cyberpunk tropes in it. Cyberware, datajacks, hackers, street docs, fixers, wage slaves, corps, gangers, street samurai with swords, SINs and big guns all make an appearance. However, it goes beyond simple tropes. There is also the feel of a cyberpunk dystopia. There are the sprawls and then the rich areas. And the best part is that the characters actually go on runs, much the same way my players did when we were playing Shadowrun.

If you want to see a movie that captures the look and feel of a cyberpunk adventure, Elysium is a really good one to go and see. And for those who have already seen it, what did you think?


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