Sunday, April 01, 2007

Film Review - "Children of Men"

The year is 2027, and the world is in a horrible mess. Terrorism exists everywhere, the world's economy has seemingly collapsed, and refugees are streaming unwanted into countries like Great Britain, where the government is using brutal military force to try and stem the tide. To make matters worse, not a single baby has been born for 18 years, and the human race teeters on the brink of eventual extinction.

Clive Owen stars as journalist Theo Faron, thrust into a plot to escort a young pregnant black woman named Kee to a safe haven in the Azores, where some sort of project is underway to try and save the human race. He's enlisted in this task by his activist ex-girlfriend, Julianna Moore. Michael Caine also stars as Theo's friend Jasper, an aging hippy who sells marijuana to the army and lives in one of the few places of sanctuary left in the British countryside.

This unrelentingly bleak and depressing thriller is nevertheless a film masterpiece, and it's probably because of its dark vision that it didn't garner a single Oscar nomination. It certainly deserved them, particularly for the spectacularly realistic battle sequences that put you right in the middle of modern urban warfare. Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, who also did the excellent adaptation of Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban, really delivers the goods with a gripping story, gritty acting and a totally believable and amazingly staged production.

"Children of Men" is a brilliant film, but also a hellish vision of the near future, where guerrilla warfare rages on the streets and where refugees are rounded up in cages by the army and the police and shipped off to concentration camps reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Pockets of the old way of life still exist here and there, but one knows it's only a matter of time before they too are swept aside by the tide of absolute anarchy. It exists so much in the realms of reality that I hesitate to call it a science fiction film, but I guess it is, and as such it's one of the finest movies in that genre ever made.

Reviewed by musician Marty Murray of The Nail Online, Morty's Cabin (, etc.

No comments: