Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Children of Men
"Children of Men" is set in the near future where the human race is on the brink of extinction.
Global violence, loss of civil liberties, illegal immigration, destruction of the environment, obsession with celebrity - all paint a bleak and depressing future. Oh wait those headlines are the same as today's headlines. Be warned this is a depressing movie with death and acute oppression around every corner.
Based on a novel by P.D. James, "Children of Men" shows a world were females have become infertile. No babies have been born for more than 18 years. The story takes place in the United Kingdom, where the military keeps order. Foreigners are rounded up, placed in detention camps and sent back to their home nations, with only a few Brits protesting the government's insensitive treatment.
The main character, Theo (Clive Owen) doesn't care that the world's demise seems inevitable. Once an activist, now a bureaucrat, he numbs himself with alcohol, or pot that he gets from his only friend, Jasper (Michael Caine), an aging hippie who lives in the country.
He is suddenly thrust into the chaos around him when a woman from his past, Julian (Julianne Moore), a leader in the refugee-rights movement, contacts him. Julian needs transit papers that will get refugee Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) out of the country and into the hands of the Human Project, a group devoted to saving mankind from self-destruction. Kee has a secret that could give the world hope again, but it also puts her in jeopardy.
Owen dose fine as the reluctant hero, but Michael Caine, who is usually a pleasure to watch comes off as an annoying over the top hippy whose only line seems to be "amigo!" Several of the other cast members all seems to have strange quirks as well making the film as painful as hearing the pots and pans rack in your kitchen fall and strike the tile floor.
As if that wasn't enough, the filmmaker must be a dog lover because nearly every scene of the movie has a yapping, whining, underfoot dog in it, which I found very distracting. I think the movie had potential to make a statement as to where the world is headed, but I lost that message in the unnecessary "noise" the other elements created.