Children of Men takes place in 2027, no person on earth has had a baby in over 18 years and humanity is in complete and total chaos. Set in England, Children of Men also shows a future where illegal immigrants are being rounded up and deported or killed. There are massive refugee camps everywhere and anarchy reigns in these camps. The story follows Theo, a former activist who is thrust back into a rebel movement he left long ago to help a miraculously pregnant woman avoid government detection.
Where Children of Men is successful is in some of it's imagery, there are some incredible cinematographic moments in this movie, particularly in the battle scenes in the storey's climax.
Where Children of Men fails for me is nearly everywhere else. While at times the cinematography was gripping, at other times it had the feel of a home movie. This method of going back and forth between regular movie making and documentary style filming was unconvincing and left Children of Men with a TV movie feel.
The writing does not make up for the choppy filming style. The characters are one dimensional and the dialogue reminded me of an airport novel. Even Michael Caine could not make up for the bad script he was given, though he and Clive Owen (Theo) deserve credit for their effort.
Though there is some creative imagery, overall this is a movie full of unexplained plot lines, cheesy stereotypical characters and a picture of the future so bleak it's laughable. It was never clear to me what connection the lack of fertility on earth had with the complete and total crumbling of society. I suppose there is an implication that with no children there is no future, but why that would make people all over the world give up on any sense of order is never explained.
Children of Men is on my 'Don't Watch It' list and I give it a somewhat generous value of $4 due to it's imagery and a couple of adequate acting performances.
April 7, 2007
Children of Men - $4
I expected a lot from Children of Men, it has been widely praised and reviewed as an outstanding science fiction movie with stark imagery and a frighteningly prophetic look into the future. For me it did not live up to this high billing.