DVD Review: Children of Men

It struck me suddenly, that in movies today, themes can be somewhat obscure. You can look for angles, bias, and all that, but it seems less frequently that you find a film with an untarnished theme.

That is what drew me into this movie.

From the beginning to the end, themes of hope, despair, misery, and grief are evident, but in the end, there’s that little shining glimmer that brings your through the darkness.

Based on a 1992 novel by P. D. James, Children of Men follows the thematic journey of a young pregnant girl through a world where all men have been rendered sterile. Though it is never clearly explained, some biological quirk has caused a sudden decrease in the sperm count of all males, leaving the world without a hope for a future.

Largely dystopian, countries are ravished one by one, leaving only Great Britain remaining in the end. Much of the plot revolves around rebels and refugees of some sort, in a world where it seems the only rule is survival.

Our protagonist, Theo (played by actor Clive Owen) begins as a rather apathetic hero. Drawn into a terrorist organization by his ex-wife (Julianne Moore), he is forced to face his past, as well as his future. He ends up protecting the last remaining pregnant women on earth, as different organizations rival for her and her baby.

Though slow at first, the action picks up the pace and pulls you through the movie right alongside the characters. Notable credit should be given to the direction of this movie, and the filmmakers whose work and cuts should be admirable to even the most veteran directors in Hollywood.

Action sequences follow the characters with a moving camera that does not cut for at least several minutes, flowing perfectly through explosions and car chases. At times, you almost feel like you should duck as the characters do, for fear the gunshots will fly across your living room.

Though thought provoking and thematically driven, the movie does seem a little bit barren in the ways of innovation. The science-fiction elements appear generalized and devoid of any particular importance, short of telling the viewer that this film takes place in the future (The year 2027 to be exact).

Some viewers may be left wanting more in the ways of clarification, as the cause of the mass sterility is brushed over quickly and rarely revisited throughout the story. However, it does carry on well enough without it.

Still, it was one of the more enjoyable dystopian movies I have seen lately, and the themes hold their own well enough to make even the most quizzical viewer come away with something to think about.

Final Score – *** (Good)

Final Word – Though I find it enjoyable and wonderfully filmed, the movie failed to live up to all of my expectations. Where it fell short, however, it picked up the pace with action, drama, and theme, leading me to feel this is one you’ll want to own and watch again.

24. April 2007 by Joshua Ebling
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