At the film's ending, Max sacrifices himself to make everyone on earth a citizen of Elysium, and thus, now able to use the station's medical machines to cure their diseases and sicknesses. A happy ending for all, right? Actually, possibly not. In fact, Max might have made things even worse. How so? Considering that the med-pods can heal pretty much anything, and regenerate cells, then that means anyone who uses it can essentially become immortal. Thus:
The overpopulated Earth now has upwards of 8 billion people who can be cured of anything, and have incredibly long lifespans, which means that the death rate probably isn't going to go down anytime soon. Coupled with the likely high birthrate (due to the horrific conditions, there's probably a very high infant mortality rate, which means people have more babies to compensate), people possibly becoming immortal due to full-body rejuvenation, and potentially increased population growth, conditions are likely to become even more hellish. Earth, already an overpopulated, ruined hellhole, will have it's already stretched resources stretched even thinner to feed an increased population. Jobs will become scarcer as more and more workers flood the market (and will likely be given even fewer hours each, and bare-bones pay), and aside from awesome health, the quality of life for everyone will suffer.
That's basically what happened when Weasel released information on nanotechnological immortality in Last Order. They've managed, though the human cost was enormous. OTOH, the overpopulation problem is kind of self-correcting, when we take in consideration the artificially screwed economy that exists largely to fuel Elysians' egoes.
While Max may have saved countless lives, in the long run, he's likely only created a bigger disaster: Too many individuals + Too few resources = Extinction.
To be fair though, it's highly unlikely there's enough med-pods for everyone on Earth; even if every single mobile one was sent to Earth to be flown to different areas, and everyone was granted unlimited access to Elysium to use the ones stationed there, the sheer number of people to med-pods ratio means that many, if not most, people will still die of their injuries or diseases before getting treated. This also doesn't count into the political and economic factors surrounding the pods. Money still exists in the world of Elysium, and it's possible that corporations might try to gain control of the pods and command outrageous prices to use them, so sadly, it's a possibility that, after the initial surge in healings, most people wouldn't be able to afford them after all, which means Max's sacrifice might not mean all that much in the long run.
The people of Earth already have their foot in the door. The world government still works on democratic principles, and now that everyone can vote, not just the people on Elysium, they can exert political pressure to prevent a return to the old system.
Of course, 'corporations commanding such ridiculous fees to use them that nobody can use them' is cutting off their nose to spite their face. All you'd need to do is make free access to the health pods part of the company employee health plan and you'd no longer need to dragoon labor for your sweatshops; people would be fighting each other for places in line to get a job. Also, you could reduce the # of allowable sick days per year to 'zero', never pay worker's comp again, never have to worry about a disability settlement for job-related injuries... seriously, the plot of this movie reads like it was written by someone who thinks that corporations hate making money. 'The corps would DRM this thing on up the yinyang and try to make sure nobody ever used a pod unless they collected a user fee' makes sense; 'the corps would deliberately price themselves out of the market entirely is not'. Even digital content providers, perhaps the purest examples of selfish corporate greed easily available to point at, still actually try to sell mp3s and streaming video and etc. to anybody who will pay them for it, even if they sell them all crapped up with whatever DRM or proprietary players they can dream up. In the real world, greedy businessmen take money from anybody who will give it to them; if something is too expensive to easily buy, that's because its too expensive to easily make.
That's because the film isn't really about money, profit margins or bottom line. It is all about the good old-fashoned dominance. Elysian bigwigs may spout the learned corporate drivel, but in the end they just want to show everyone who's the boss, to cite Orwell, they want to feel their "boot stamping on the human face... forever", and to get that feeling they are prepared to throw all rationality and all efficiency out the window. Just note there's exactly one orbital habitat — Elysium itself. With the technology available to the humanity, such habitats might number in thousands, not counting domed cities on the Moon and the other planets, so the ovepopulation issue isn't really a problem if anyone wouldever want to solve it. Additionally, so much population is usually a bonus for the economy, if one sets the task to stimulate the internal consumption, as it servesboth as a market and a workforce. It's just that the Elysian elite doesn't want a reasonable economy, because they simply love flaunting their superiority before their planetside serfs.
And if overpopulation concerns are what's stopping them from spreading the technology, there's a pragmatic fix: program all the Med-Pods, whether on Earth or Elysium, to harmlessly and permanently sterilize any adult who uses it. Make forfeiting reproduction the socially-accepted cost of using such technology to live longer, and allow everyone the informed decision to either make do with alternative medical treatments or voluntarily drop out of the gene pool.
As another result of the ending, -everyone- is now an Elysian citizen. Security droids, the only police force there really is, cannot arrest an Elysian citizen. The already-sky-high crime rate on Earth is only going to go up because of this...
This is largely a nonissue. The droid officers cannot arrest an Elysian citizen simply because they aren't programmed to do so: they are mainly the immigration control and are meant to oppress a downtrodden underclass. But the only thing needed to make them an actual police is a slight change in their program.
It's probably because Spider wasn't doing anything wrong, he was just standing there. It's hard to arrest someone for doing nothing at all.
It isn't if you're a human. And a bastard.
What's to stop the vengeful Earth humans going on a bloodthirsty rampage once they reach Elysium? Or alternatively the understandably terrified Elysiumites tearing the newcomers to pieces as soon as they start leave their shuttles (the Elysiumites would have numerical superiority at least for the first wave.) The Elysium leadership has lost all power and there isn't an Earth leadership for the incoming so either way it seems there is going to be a lot of bloodshed by frightened, desperate people.
Presumably the security droids still have emergency protocols to prevent violent acts against Elysian citizens. Plus, Spider would probably have enough influence to convince the Earth humans not to attack.
Why wouldn't Elysium citizens immediately restore the system to its previous condition? even assuming they didn't have a backup, they could just strip of citizenship every person currently on the planet unless they are registered as owning property on Elysium. Simple, effective and totally ruins the ending but ehy, it's a Crapsack World.
Why do droid chassis need to be irradiated anyway?
If they're going to be used on Elysium, it's possibly to kill any Earthbound contaminants (diseases, microorganisms, etc.) that might not mix well with Elysium's engineered atmosphere. Of course, after they're irradiated, they'd probably need to be shipped straight up.
Why doesn't Elysium have any onboard defenses? Kruger has to shoot down the undocumented earthlings' vessels at the beginning with a surface-to-air missile, but why didn't Elysium have missiles of its own? If it did, Spider's gang would never have landed on Elysium and they never would have had the system rebooted. And it's not like there was some weapons taboo in Elysium since Kruger's goons make their base in the station's armory and human and robot security are seen carrying guns... so why no missiles?
It could possibly be due to PR reasons, as Elysium's appeal as a utopian society would look awkward to residents with the presence of military ordinance and cause possible disruptions. Not to mention using proxy agents like Kruger would allow the Elysium government to maintain plausible denialbility for using lethal force to keep out trespassers.
During the discussion between the defense secretary and Carlyle, they discuss a contract for missiles. This could simply be for the SA missiles like Kruger has but could well be more pervasive than that. Any weaponry Elysium has would also need to be transported up from the surface, which makes SA missiles more practical than orbital mounted weapons platforms.
Elysium probably does have onboard weaponry, but Delacourt would likely have a much harder time using it in contravention of President Patel's orders than just telling her earthbound pet psychopath to use his own CCB-issued weapons. The weapons it does have are probably only usable with Patel's authorization, and only in extreme situations, since official policy is simply to round up and deport illegal immigrants.
Well, why exactly is Delacour so hell-bent on murdering people against her superior's orders? The Elysium police seemed quite capable of dealing with the intruders, and they only even got that far, because for some reason the security didn't think of intercepting the shuttles while still in space, like you usually do with intruders in your air space.
The Medbays appear to have no major power cost, no particularly rare elements, nothing that would keep this technology from being on every hospital on Earth. Also, it doesn't seem that Elysium has any manufacturing facilities, so they have to be made on Earth. Why aren't these things being stolen or being installed in every hospital on the planet?
Exactly. Even going with the premise that the people owning the rights to those things are ultimately greedy selfish people with no empathy and a mono-focus on the bottom line, its important to remember that "the bottom line" is not made out of spite, it is made out of pragmatism. If costs are that low, then cost-benefit analysis (aka 'the bottom line') is no barrier to spamming that shit all over, especially when the benefits (vastly more healthy and productive workforce in return for vastly less employee healthcare cost per head is the most obvious one, but hardly the only one) are so considerable. Sure, Elysium would want to control the pods, so that nobody used one without paying them, but that's not the same thing as spitefully denying everyone access to the pods at all. Shit you are not selling to people at all is shit that is not making you any money, and the entire point of 'greedy bastard' is that they love money.
Denying medbays to Earth isn't about money. It's about keeping the super awesome space metropolis exclusive by providing something you can't get on Earth; by extension, it's about keeping the earthbound peasants in their place.
Blame Earth's overpopulation. Decreasing mortality by distributing medbays would make this problem worse. Consequently, withholding the medbays from the (poor) Earthlings is cruel, but rational.
This is mainly because the central conceit of the film is class envy, the writers don't want to you point out that realistically at least one person, somewhere, would see the profit potential in bringing medbays to earth and selling tickets, and that would be more important to them than keeping the technology exclusively for the rich.
Elysium can't be so rich that they don't need to keep making money. Earth seems to have all the industry and those workers need to be paid, or else Elysium stops getting the goodies that it needs to be so luxurious. You don't get money from sick people by instantly curing them of all illness; you get money from sick people by giving them expensive pills that ease their symptoms without curing anything, just like those pills that Max had. Surely Elysium would use their influence to make medbays illegal for noncitizens for the sake of the pharmaceutical industry. Those medbays are probably one of the few things that are actually built on Elysium, since even one of those things leaking out could destroy the entire medical system and the vast source of revenue that it must represent for Elysium.
Are you familiar with the concept of terror? This brings a parallel with a lot of modern dystopian future fiction, tying very closely with The Hunger Games. In that series, the government puts 24 kids (48 once) to duke it out to the death in a stage that will kill them if they stop killing each other; there's no real need to do this, as a distraction it doesn't really do anything that a soap opera doesn't do today, the real reason behind this is inspiring terror and thus keeping the powerful powerful. In Elysium, the terror is mostly disguised as broken aspirations, Elysians feel they require to keep Earthlings down not only physically, but emotionally, thus the book the kids read at the beginning, they're being denied a fairytale ending while the rich and powerful elite enjoy it, and the Elysians expect this to demoralize them.
Forget getting rich selling medbays. Why isn't anyone taking it to the next level by building thousands of new space colonies? The main reason we're not constructing them for real is that it costs so much to get people or materials into orbit when you start out from the ground. But if you've got a base of operations established in space already, there shouldn't be any significant obstacles to converting every near-Earth asteroid or obsolete satellite that comes around into raw materials for another ten, twenty, fifty similar habitats. Get a bunch more Elysiums going, stock them with Earth folks who aren't too rich and lazy to work space-construction for a living, and then branch out into the asteroid belt: in a few decades, you could start evacuating the Earth altogether and still have room to spare.
How can a shoulder-fired missile reach space? That thing would have to be fired at close to escape velocity, which should require so much propulsion that it would be impossible for a human to lift.
The missiles are soft launched (ie with only a small force to clear them from the tube) from the man-portable launcher tubes then the rockets/motors ignite to achieve escape velocity.
My issue wasn't with the recoil, but rather with how heavy all that fuel would be- way too heavy for a human to lift.
Presumably this same super-efficient, super-lightweight/low-density fuel was what kept Kruger's rather large ship VTOLing all over the damned place for the better part of a day and then flying all the way to Earth orbit.
One needs a stamp on one's wrist to identify themselves as Elysium citizens; however, without said stamp, the Elysium equipment doesn't recognize anyone even being there (seen with Fray's daughter the first time). How, then, (at the ending) does the Elysium sensors pick up how many citizens are on Earth? or that they need medical attention?
The stamp is a secondary security layer. The scan gets your DNA and the stamp; I'd have to watch to be sure, but I seem to recall that it knew her name and that she wasn't a citizen, not just that there was no citizen. As a simple matter of fact, Elyisum satellites/scanners can identify individuals from orbit and Max is in the registry, as most Earthlings are. After the reboot, the system was merely updated to consider everyone a citizen, not just those with the patch..
Why would Delacourt refuse even Frey's meager treatment after being stabbed in the neck, allowing herself to die? Exsanguination from the carotid couldn't possibly be "more" lethal than having your entire face blown off, and Kruger (who wasn't exactly rushed to a med-pod) was still able to recover from that. Refusing treatment at that point seemed to be more an act of sheer spite than anything substantiated by her previous characterization.
She knew that she was doomed and would be punished for her criminal and traitorous actions. It's in-character for her to prefer dying to losing power and Elysium citizenship.
Presuming the medpods are not expensive to make, difficult to maintain, or anything else everyone on Earth now has free medical care. Yeah! But what about all the other problems? If overpopulation is the main problem and the cause of other problems then wouldn't the situation be made worse? If there are not enough jobs to go around now then why would the job situation improve? What about food? What about living space? Are not the people of Earth at least somewhat responsible for turning it into a craphole? If people start flooding up to Elysium wouldn't it become just like Earth?
As noted on the Fridge page, there probably aren't enough medpods to take care of everyone on Earth. Not to mention, we only saw their first visit to Earth. It's very likely that after everyone found out about the massive change in citizenship, new rules were made to balance things out (like, say, make rules about where and when the medpods can be sent to Earth).
Or, much more likely, they will just reboot the system again and turn it back the way it was.
Why would food be an issue if you have the equivalent of Goa'uld Sarcophagi? If the medpods can heal a blown up face, they can surely handle starvation and malnutrition. Right?
What was Carlyle's fail-safe mechanism supposed to do? It didn't stop the data from being downloaded and it didn't stop them from being used. True, the usage would kill the person transmitting the data, but didn't Carlyle's security expert think about a) people forced to do it against their will, b) people willing to sacrifice themselves, c) people not caring because they'll die soon anyway or d) people not knowing or not being told they'll die when they use it?
Why didn't he just use one of any number of cryptographic techniques that exist to safely transport the data? Cryptography actually provides confidentiality instead of the fatal brain thing which seems only to exist for spite.
This troper initially believed that the cerebral security program would kill Carlyle when someone attempted to download from his brain, thereby destroying the data in the same way that frying a hard drive would, because it seems almost impossible to actually encrypt the information stored in your brain, making the brain's death the only way to secure the data. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
It seems like it was meant more to kill whoever downloaded the data and tried to transfer it. He just wasn't banking on the fact that whoever got a hold of it was willing to pull a Heroic Sacrifice.
But was it a Heroic Sacrifice ? Max had pretty much two options: a) die a horrible death from radiation poisoning or b) die a comfortable death and 'save the humanity'
Yes, it was a heroic sacrifice. He didn't want to die from the radiation poisoning, that's why he wanted to go to Elysium and get healed, but when he gets captured and treated like a tool he finds out that using the code in his brain WILL kill him, he knows from before Spider finds out and is WILLING to do it; in fact not only for just F Rey's daughter but for everybody on earth and specifically asks Spider to do the latter: make everybody in Earth an Elysium citizen.
But Max's sacrifice wasn't decisive at all. Spider could've just as easily not told him about the "safeguard" and pressed the button himself.
If there is technology to make AI cop droids, why don't they make some factory worker droids?
Probably because human workers are cheaper and more numerous. Crapsack World applies.
Except they aren't. This is why factories today are becoming more and more automated and requiring a correspondingly smaller workforce.
But human police are not?
Droids don't feel pain or fear, they don't refuse to execute orders and they can't rebel.
Maybe they're Genre Savvy enough to realize that if you treat robots like slaves they will eventually rebel and overthrow you, but humans probably won't.
Why does Max speak English as his first language? He was apparently reared in a Spanish speaking orphanage and lives in a city where Spanish seems to be the first language. Obviously he can speak Spanish but he has a strong Anglo accent doing so, when given his background he should even be speaking English with a Mexican accent.
Probably just Translation Convention. They are actually talking Spanish all the time and the few times he audience gets to hear it is just to emphasize and remind us about that. Note there is no indication in story that they are registering the dialogue as a different language. They just keep the conversation as if nothing happened.
Why is the roof of the Elysium torus open to space? Granted, the rotational gravity would keep the atmosphere contained, but would do absolutely nothing to protect against cosmic radiation or space debris.
Presumably, Elysium's atmosphere deflects cosmic radiation in the same way Earth's does.
Elysium could have its own magnetic field to deal with charged-particles radiation.
What use is a police robot that can't arrest the citizens it's supposed to police? Are they all really only there to apprehend illegal immigrants? Because in this case they're less police, more border guard. And assuming that that's the case... did the people who built Elysium really think there would never be any need to arrest a "proper" citizen? Do rich people never do anything illegal? Even if you assume that this nearly post-scarcity society would mean nobody will have a reason to steal or burgle or whatever, surely there are still swindlers? Contract breakers? People who momentarily lose their self-control and beat each other up?
Presumably they would have taken orders from the President or some similar high ranking official, but after the reboot everything got wiped so the robots fell back on their default programming.
I took it that the human officers could arrest anybody, while droids could only arrest non-citizens (probably one of the many privileges of Elysium citizenship). At the end, when everyone has become a citizen, the droids stop Spider's rather rough arrest because there's probably no arrest warrant in the system and they see him as a citizen being brutalized.
The final scene. It's pretty clear that the med-pods are a metaphor for the luxuries enjoyed by the upper classes which are unjustly distributed so the poor can't have them... but the fact that there are (appearance, ridiculous as it might seem) enough med-pods for all the people on the overpopulated Earth would imply that the only reason they aren't given to the poor is that the rich are evil, and that if only all those fucking one percent assholes would stop being such jerks everyone could live like a Beverly Hills plutocrat. While it's true that the distribution of resources in real-life is often far from fair, it's far, far more complex than that. The amount of resources is far from infinite, and distributing it all equally (assuming it could be done), wouldn't make everyone rich, it would make everyone equally poor (albeit perhaps not as poor as those people today who have absolutely nothing).
The thing is, those pods seem very cheap to operate, to the point that Elysians are using them for cosmetic surgery; and from the overall looks on the world, yeah, it looks like Elysium is doing things just for the evulz and to be assholes. At no point in the movie is their elitist society portrayed as unable to provide anything extra at no cost. People on Earth look poor because the elite isn't paying enough even when they are able to. The factory Max works at is presented as having a problem with "profitability" yet the owner doesn't explore branching out, he wants to keep selling androids to Elysium like he has (and it's kinda of hard to believe he has trouble with money since it's established that his company actually built the Elysium torus) If anything, the movie's antagonists are too cartoony, precisely because the conflict isn't complex enough. The poors just want to have a decent medical attention and perhaps some more money and be cleaner; and the villains have the means to provide exactly that, and don't do it because they are sooo evil see?
This is basically the "Socialism vs Capitalism" debate, which is way beyond the scope of this wiki.
When Carlyle's shuttle was shot down, and Max and Co approached, why did only one droid engage them at first? If they'd acted together they could've covered each other and just benefit from superior firepower, yet the second one just sat inside the shuttle until its comrade was destroyed. The hell?
He thought one was enough and didn't bank on the special ammunition.
Carlyle is not used to directing droids in battle and he's panicking from the crash. It's not surprising that he doesn't make the best tactical decisions.
As far as tactical decisions go, "you two, go there and shoot those bastards", doesn't seem that high-end - it's, in fact, natural reaction. Besides, you usually panic while you're crashing - not afterwards. Sure, he'd freak out from being shot at, but that's even more reason to send out everyone (EVERYONE!!!) he got.
An alternative take; he probably did it to give the attackers a false sense of security after they destroyed the first one and would come out of their hiding spot, so that the second droid could then take them out by surprise. It was shown that they did have trouble taking out the second droid, and were it not for Max's new Powered Armor abilities, they likely would have been killed, or at least delayed long enough for Kruger to arrive and finish them off.
If Earth is an impoverished police state, where's Spider's gang keep getting all those shuttles and high-tech weapons?
Recycled, stolen and re-purposed. It appears most of Elysium's manufacturing base is actually on Earth (we see droids factories at least), which means there's plenty of places to steal from.
But shouldn't it be quite easy to determine the launch location? From the trajectory, energy yield, whatever. Yet, nobody storms Spider's fortress for some reason.
Congratulations, you've destroyed the shuttles that were approaching your space station. Now there's a ton of debris approaching your space station that will no doubt cause terrible damage to it. And why did they even bother? We've seen that the one shuttle that reached the station was almost immediately hunted down, and illegals rounded up by the police. What, did they only have one unit, or would it been insufficiently cartoonishly evil for Delacour to act reasonably?
Shuttle debris is probably stopped by the same thing that stops regular space debris (micro-meteorites, old satellites and so on). That is, either the production didn't think about it or there's something we don't see shielding Elysium.
But not from shuttles themselves? But whatever, my main gripe is with the total insane overkill of the solution. They have their own ships! Intercept the shuttles and then do whatever you want with them.
Following from the above, when Spider and his gang go to Elysium, their shuttle is detected, identified as an unauthorised one and... then what? Why isn't anyone intercepting it? For that matter, where's all the Elysium security while Max, Krueger and the rest rampage through the facility?
At that point the emergency protocol has been activated and Delacour has taken over. She's busy with her coup and not around to give orders and it seems CCB need her direct involvement to do anything (they call her back from the party at the beginning of the movie and she micromanages everything regarding illegals).
Following from the above, we've seen that Elysium can declare a no-flight zone above a whole city, apparently making leaving it technically impossible. Ok, why don't they keep it on all the time and only allow registered ships to take off?
Because Elysium's government is trying to seem lenient and preventing all local (Earth-to-Earth) flight would be seen as excessive.
Seen by whom? Elysians themselves? They didn't give a shit (or didn't know) about the murder of five dozen people, why would they care if those filthy untermenshen get to fly around or not?
While the Elysians are a bunch of rich dicks, they apparently care about PR. This is the reason why Delacour had Krueger shoot down the crafts in the beginning instead of having Elysium's own security do it, so they could claim "hey! WE didn't shoot them down! Some psycho on Earth did it!" As complacent as the Earth population seems to be about them, Elysium doing things like shutting down all Earth to Earth flight "just because" is going to be strong fuel for a full on rebellion, and Earth seems to be pretty close to that as it is. Like the rich and powerful in real life often do, the Elysians are trying to exploit the poor and downtrodden of Earth as much as they can while avoiding pushing them to the breaking point, and being PR conscious is a part of that.
What was Krueger thinking when he let a man with a primed grenade into his ship, and if he did, why did they suddenly try to take the grenade away, while still on the ship, especially if Max was willing to surrender the information. Also, Krueger had a woman Max was apparently connected with - why not just use her as a hostage and demand that Max stands down?
Krueger wanted the code for himself so he had to take it before they landed. He expected Max not to cooperate with a mid-flight download so he elected to use force. Persuasion might or might not have worked in time and Krueger need the code pronto.
What is the deal with Delacour? I mean, you've got Miles Quaritch, you've got Koobus Venter, and you've got this sadistic, paranoid, overkill-prone, insubordinate ballbuster. She talks all grim and fatalistic, like she's the final frontier protecting the clueless Elysians from the chaos and slaughter that the unwashed masses from Earth will undoubtedly cast upon them as soon as they... cross the huge chasm of space between the two places, which they barely managed to do with several dozen of them and which the Elysium easily contained. What are they afraid of, that earthlings will somehow get their hands on LOTS of shuttles and then launch a massive invasion? Even barring the improbability of that in the world of total surveillance, Elysium can apparently ground the Earth fliers remotely. For once, Elysians could actually allow themselves to be complacent, and could be even more so, if they thought of sending a few ships patrolling their border, which would've eliminated the need for secret psychotic agents on Earth. So what exactly was her job security, and why didn't the president what's his name didn't fire the murderous bitch, preferably into the Sun, once he saw how batshit insane she was? The droids apparently still obeyed him and not her, otherwise there'd be no need for the coop.
Elysium can't possibly have every single bit of tech, etc. The humans on earth have every square inch of planet to work with and hide in. There should be no reason they can't build a spacecraft of their own (given enough time and organization) or a powerful EMP gun to fry every circuit on Elysium when it orbits over.
Yes, they do have every bit of tech. It may be stationed on Earth, but they control it all. And yes, there should be a reason. Such an tremendous undertaking would require a level of resources, infrastructure and organisation that the Eartlings clearly lack yet alone would be able to conceal. Countries have space programs or advanced weapon programs. You cannot just build something like that in your back yard or in a cave (WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS). Hiding from the authorities or even stealing some shuttles or guns - ok, sure. But as noted above, the Elysium seems perfectly capable of handling those, unless they're feisted with an Idiot Ball.