Matt Daemon really is a great actor, I mean he's incredible, it seems like he totally immerses himself within the roll. The ending wasn't that spectacular somehow, but early on in the movie he delivered more of an act than I had expected.
It all started with the radiation dose, stumbling home, his buddy Julian helping into the living room, and then he throws up straight over the table.
That's when I realized once again: damn, he really takes this seriously! Gross... but at the same time I can't help wonder if he throws up for real or if it's staged somehow. It looks real. At the same time I'm wondering how he manages to throw up like that... does he throw up on command? Did he eat some rotten egg or something to force his stomach to turn like that? In that scene, he really looks sick.
It's a great act all the way, though his desperation in this moment and shortly after really shines through. I've seen plenty of futuristic movies like this earlier, with an enslaved population, a huge gap between the rich and poor, and one man that breaches that gap to bring salvation to the whole population. A few titles off the top of my mind are Aeon Flux, Equilibrium and The Running Man... there's plenty more! Of all these titles, this is somehow the most realistic and the most limited one. It's a caged world the characters live in. It all takes place in the same area, no doubt a slum somewhere in the world, and in space. You can see the space station glowing like a moon in the sky, far away, making the limitations of the main character's world all the more obvious.
The special effects are subtle and realistic... mostly. At times it goes a bit overboard, but it's always somehow very realistic. Kruger's head exploding, for example... that must've taken some interesting process to create. The switch from model to real face is flawless.
The story isn't that special, it's just full of stereotypes... really, nothing special. But the acting's real, the action's real; the intensity is always there. The main character just keeps going through one hardship after the other, but his willpower overcomes his trouble. That, and good friends, that die for him ; die with him. It's really an inspiring watch even though it doesn't quite seem to break out amongst similar titles. Might not become a classic, but it was a great watch.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle