Elysium is effectively set in a world where the current economic and political policies are taken to their extreme, logical conclusion. A world where there is an effective two-class economy - the very rich, and everyone else (extrapolation of the current discrepancies in countries such as South Africa, Brazil and India), where immigration of the poor is controlled with a degree of viciousness (Australia's new immigration policies?), where even basic health care is difficult to get (almost everywhere except Europe), dependence on warlords for safety and security (Hamas in Palestine, Somalia?), over-population leading to vast slums (India, Brazil, South Africa) and a scenario of factories working off effectively slave labour (China). It is a dystopian future that has been on screen and books before - but I just don't think it has been shown in such extreme brutality.
In this setting, the story of Max (Matt Damon) who inadvertently starts a fight against the system is compelling, but ultimately looses out of steam about 70% of the way in - but by then the movie needs to finish a story, and not provide a philosophical parable. Perhaps the most telling point is that ultimately, in the future, it is the android robots that are more humane than the humans.
It is visually stunning, backed up with some great acting - especially by Sharlto Copley as the renegade mercenary Kruger. It is definitely worth watching, on a big screen.