No children. No future. No hope.
Running Time: 109 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: Japan, United Kingdom, United States
Children of Men is a futuristic thriller set in 2027 where mysterious reasons have left humanity unable to reproduce. The societies of Africa and Eastern Europe have collapsed leading to a mass emigration to wealthier countries like Great Britain. In the midst of nationalistic violence and the ghettoisation of immigrants, Theo Faron (Owen) – a disillusioned peace activist turned bureaucrat – joins forces with a gang of revolutionaries, including Julian (Moore), in an attempt to save young Joy (Richardson), who has miraculously become pregnant. With the help of his friend Jasper (Caine) he fights the police and the revolutionaries themselves, as he tries to get her to the last safe haven at the The Human Project.
This adaptation of a P.D James novel offers an interesting take on the doomsday scenario with a comfortably familiar settings of the not-so-distant future in Britain and the storyline is not too far fetched at all. Sometimes, when my girlfriend gets broody, I just put this on and tell her it’s a documentary and there’s no point in pining for what she can’t have. There are some technically brilliant scenes throughout. The skirmishes at the refugee camp are done in a gritty and realistic first-person mode with enough quality to grace a film like Saving Private Ryan and the gun battles based in moving cars are stylish indeed.
Clive Owen’s monotone acting style fits in nicely with the unrelenting grimness of the film as he stalks around quite rightly unwilling to break a smile as it all goes wrong around him. Michael Caine brings a much-needed touch of humour to the film as Jasper, the oddball old-timer, and his arrival onscreen seems to be an excuse to bring in some classic tunes. The only real problem lies in the characterisation. The main characters aren’t properly fleshed out and none of them have a real backstory. It’s hard to know who to root for when there are so many ambiguous motives at large. Is Theo really a better person to look after Joy and the baby just because his ex-Missus (who we know nothing about) says so?
It's Got: An interesting premise, well executed action, an involving story.
It Needs: A little more characterisation.
DVD Extras A very highbrow "The Possibility of Hope" Featurette, "Under Attack" Featurette, "Theo and Julian" Featurette,"Futuristic Design" Featurette, "Creating the Baby" Featurette, Previews and a few unimpressive Deleted Scenes DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
With an involving story, realistic setting and well executed action scenes, Children of Men is one of the best Dystopian movies out there.