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Children of Men (2006)
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Review Date: December 28, 2006
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Writer: Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
Producers: Eric Newman, Hilary Shor, Iain Smith, Tony Smith
Actors:
Clive Owen as Theo
Julianne Moore as Julian
Chiwetel Ejifor as Luke
Plot:
The year is 2027 and most countries have fallen apart due to anarchy touched off by the sudden inability of women to produce babies anymore. That’s right, it’s only a matter of time before everyone in the world gets washed off the planet, and most of them aren’t even wearing shades. This film focuses on the issues taking place in England, as the leftover citizens are attempting to get by, before it all just falls apart. Kinda like my own psyche, but with actors in it, rather than clowns.
Critique:
I had heard a ton of gushing praise for this futuristic look at our world coming apart, and was looking very forward to immersing myself fully into the movie, but sadly, I wasn’t as engaged in its plotline as I’d hoped, as the film eventually leads to some interesting sequences, but takes a little too much time getting there, and even felt redundant here and there. I’m a big fan of apocalyptic flicks, and sci-fi movies have grown on me as I myself age, but for some reason, I wasn’t able to fully connect with this film or its characters, at least not until its final 20 minutes or so. Sure, Clive Owen offers yet another solid performance in the lead role, and many of its secondary players come through in their respective roles, but I guess I was looking for a little more insight, a little more depth and definitely, a lot more immersion into this bleak world. That’s not to say that the film doesn’t look brilliant, because it most certainly does, and the directing was top-notch, particularly a 10-minute DePalma-esque pan shot that will astound most anyone who notices it. The film’s look and feel were also quite authentic as the world obviously seemed to be falling apart, much like in 28 DAYS LATER, but instead of zombies running amuck, it was the world’s citizens that were befriending my friend and yours, anarchy.

My biggest issue with the film was probably its first hour, which certainly started off with a really great premise, but ultimately seemed to drag down into one scene of Owen getting into a car/truck and being followed by the baddies, to another sequence featuring yet more of the chase. After a while, I felt myself rolling the ol’ eyeballs and wondering if the film was going to delve deeper into the moral and spiritual issues surrounding this end-of-world scenario. The film did ultimately touch on some of those topics, featured a handful of unexpected moments and did, in the end, pull me in emotionally via an impactful final half hour or so, but I guess I would have preferred some more variety before all that, as the film felt like it wasn’t moving forward as profoundly as I’d been led to believe (then again, I probably missed the film’s symbolism or some shit). But as per any review of a movie that features an original and non-clichéd story-line and not a mom, dad and their 12 fruity kids, I have to offer further props to the filmmakers for, at the very least, providing us with a creative and debate-worthy plotline that should get people speaking to one another after their viewing, as opposed to forgetting about what they just saw, five minutes after walking out of the theater.

All that said, I was secretly hoping that this was a film that I would want to revisit every now and again (and maybe I will, who knows…I feel like I’m “missing” something), and maybe even slip its way into my all-time favorite science-fiction movie list, but that was certainly not the case here, as I did enjoy the film overall, but didn’t get bowled over by it as so many other fans have. Sniff, sniff…I feel so left out.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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