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Played By: Matt Damon
- Badass: His reputation with several characters indicate he's one.
- Handicapped Badass: He also suffers from radiation poisoning during much of the film, yet still manages to defeat several of the bad guys.
- Heroic Sacrifice: To ensure everyone can become a citizen on Elysium, he sacrifices himself to save the day.
- Limited Wardrobe: Because they bolted the exoskeleton to him through his clothes
- Messianic Archetype: Has plenty of parallels to the Christ.
- Working-Class Hero: He is seen going to work in a factory as a line worker in the first part of the film.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Due to getting a lethal dose of radiation, he's expected to only live about another five days at most.
Played By: Alice Braga
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Max.
- Damsel in Distress: Becomes one after Kruger traces Max's movements back to her house.
Played By: Emma Tremblay
- Children Are Innocent: Interestingly enough, even Kruger acts somewhat nice towards her, such as when he tells her to close her eyes so she doesn't see him punch Frey during an interrogation.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: She has advanced leukemia, and cannot be cured on Earth due to lacking the medical equipment readily available on Elysium.
Played By: Sharlto Copley
- Amoral Afrikaner: You'd better believe it, boytjie. Though it's not mentioned in dialogue, the accent, the blink-and-you'll-miss-it flag painted on his dropship, and the fact that the song he sings to Frey's daughter is in Afrikaans confirm that he's this.
- Ax-Crazy: Even his own men who are violent thugs fear him if he's in a ticked mood. After his face is blown off, he goes from crazy to megalomaniacal, deciding to take over Elysium.
- Badass Beard: One inspired by South-African troops during the 70's staying out in the bush for months at a time.
- Since Kruger was born in 1970, He would of more than likely have served in the South African Defense Force, and seeing as He's referred as being Ex-Special Forces, He might have served in the 32 Battalion, who were South African Special Forces; meaning that He would of spent time in the bush, like many of the elite members of the 32 Battalion have done. Him having the beard, makes even more sense with his character's background.
- Badass Normal: Initially.
- Bad Boss: While he seems amiable enough with his two henchmen who share his love of violence and disregard of others, he's implied to have killed other henchmen in the past on impulse and the first thing they do when he recovers from a severe injury is holding a gun at his face until he calms down.
- Beard of Evil
- Blood Knight: He always seems to enjoy fighting and killing people.
- The Caligula: He would have become this if he actually succeeded in taking over Elysium.
- Cool Sword: His signature Katana.
- Corporate Samurai: A particularly nasty example.
- The Dragon: To Delacourt.
- Dragon Ascendant: After he kills Delacourt.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Later gains a suit of power armour to match Max's.
- Even Evil Has Standards: As he's molesting and interrogating Frey, he doesn't want her daughter to view his atrocities. Subverted later, as it turns out that he is perfectly willing to let her die with no remorse. In his final fight with Max, he also allows the latter to at least stand back up after knocking him down instead of just shooting or stabbing the latter while they're on the ground.
- Evil Is Hammy: His dialogue seems to chew the scenery a little.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Delacourt, you really shouldn't have yelled in his face, particularly given that he'd just had most of it blown off and regenerated...
- Faux Affably Evil: The polite demeanour is obviously an act. His tendency to tell people to get their injuries that he just inflicted on them checked out also add to this.
- Karmic Death: Kruger has a tendency love blowing things up. In the end, he gets blown up with a Grenade he intended for him and Max to die with.
- Knife Nut: Kruger sure does love his blades, such as his Katana.
- Made of Iron: Dude survives his face being blown off - but doesn't escape the psychological trauma that came with it.
- Obviously Evil: He's already described as committing numerous human rights violations.
- Psycho for Hire: The man Delacourt calls when she wants someone dead.
- Verbal Tic: He has a tendency to call Max "boytjie" (pronounced "boy-key", it's Afrikaans slang meaning "little boy").
Played By: Wagner Moura
- Big Good: About the closest thing we have to one in this movie. While he is technically a criminal, he does abandon his original plan of hijacking Carlyle's brain and using the information to steal the latter's money and resources. Instead he uses what Max downloaded from Carlyle to help out all of the citizens on Earth.
- Genius Cripple: He walks with a limp and has to carry around a walking stick.
- Good Is Not Nice: For all his noble intentions, he still did things like human trafficking and grand theft auto.
- Non-Action Guy: Justified in that he's walking with a limp, and he's got plenty of guys who do the fighting for him, such as Max.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He orders his men to back down from Max, and they comply. He even gives him some Powered Armor to help him with his mission, and later becomes key to helping out everyone on Earth.
Drake and Crowe
Played By: Brandon Aurret (Drake) and Josh Blacker (Crowe)
- Amoral Afrikaner: Like their boss— they've got the same accents and same brutal attitude.
- Badass Normal: They do not have the gadgets of their boss or the strength of Max's exo-suit but still remain major threats.
- Bald of Evil: Crowe. Drake sports a Mohawk.
Played By: Diego Luna
Secretary of Defense Jessica Delacourt
Played By: Jodie Foster
- Big Bad: Until Kruger takes over.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Her reasoning for acting the way she does is to keep the rabble on Earth out of Elysium, no matter how brutal her methods seem. She even warns Patel of this, and when illegals certainly do breach Elysium later, she tries to do an "I told you so" to him.
- Karmic Death: Delacourt is killed by Kruger, the very psycho she hired.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Throughout the entire film, she uses Kruger as her personal attack dog to deal with her dirty work.
- The Starscream: She plans a coup because she feels the current president doesn't have what it takes to lead. Kruger later kills her in order to seize control of Elysium for himself. Karma's a bitch.
- Think of the Children!: Her apparent justification for killing dozens of refugees and her plans to take over Elysium.Delacourt: "Do you have children, President Patel?"
- Too Dumb to Live: She confronts a complete psycho like Kruger without any protection or guards.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: When the shuttle she authorized to land crashes on Elysium thanks to her off-the-books and illegal The Dragon, she doesn't miss a beat in feigning ignorance and blaming the entire incident on the President's more humane policies and then seizing control of the security forces in her capacity as War Secretary. It would have been more impressive if her next act had not been Bullying The Dragon.
Played By: William Fichtner
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Evil Genius: To Delacourt.
- Jerk Ass: He shows more concern for a bedsheet being kept clean than a employee dying from radiation poisoning.
- Mega Corp.: Armadyne's CEO.
Played By: Faran Tahir
- Anti-Villain: While living on Elysium doesn't earn him any points with people on Earth, he's also not actively making their life more difficult either the way Delacourt and Kruger seem to want to do.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In most settings, he'd barely be considered evil at all.
- Greater Scope Villain: Technically, although he's the least evil of the film's villains, he is still at the top of the tyrannical system.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He specifically chews out Delacourt for shooting down the civilian craft attempting to land on Elysium, and revokes Kruger's military status shortly after said incident.