Monthly Archives: December 2012

Children of Men

Saw this movie last weekend. I wanted to go see it when it was released way back at the end of 2006,  which for some reason did not happen.   So I when I saw the DVD is my local library I immediately picked it up.  Mainly because I am a  fan of well done science fiction and secondly because it had got good reviews.  It stars Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine among others.  Well, the movie was a great disappointment, it did not leave up to its potential. Mainly because it made little logical sense.  I think District9 is a much better movie which tackles many of the same issues, in a science fiction setting. Mainly the depravities human beings are capable of when they label a group as the “other”.

Warning: Spoilers follow..

The movie is set in the dystopian near future in London.  The story unfolds in a post apocalyptic nightmare, with the UK being the only functioning country.  Functioning as a draconian police state, that is.  The police state is justified on the basis of protecting the citizenry from the twin scourges of illegal immigration and terrorism. The place is teeming with refugees herded in large cages, and police patrolling with unfriendly and ferocious looking canines. The film opens in a coffee shop, with the TV blaring,  announcing  the death of  the youngest living person who was 18, still referred to as “Baby Diego” in the news report. So in addition to living in a post apocalyptic nightmare, we are also in a future of universal human infertility. Whether this is a cause or effect of the night mare that the denizens of the movie find themselves in, is unclear.

Children have been replaced by dogs and cats, they seem to be immune from whatever is affecting the fertility of human beings. This was something that made no sense to me. Dogs and cats are mammals, surely their fertility would be impacted too.

Theo, played by Clive Owen, our protagonist is an office drone in this nightmarish future.  He is contacted by his ex wife, Julian, played by Moore, who is a leader, of a group that wants the refugees to be treated more humanely and are not above using violent means to achieve their objective.  She wants Theo to get transit papers from his wealthy cousin for someone who she wants to smuggle to the coast.  She offers him a hefty amount of cash for the favor.  He relents after being stand-offish initially. The person in question turns out to be a refugee women who is mysteriously pregnant and Julian wants her to be smuggled to some group of do-gooders called the Human Project.  Theo doesn’t know this when he agrees to  be her escort in the first place. The rest of the movie is a chase where they have to outrun, the crazy members of  Moore’s group, the police state  and other assorted crazies.

The movie captures violence, urban decay and urban warfare convincingly and its nightmare version of London, is enough to send chills down your spine. But the story itself is weak and does not hold together all that well.

Grade :  B-