Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
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I love a good sci fi story, and visions of various apocalyptic futures. I felt that Children of Men fell into these categories quite well. I will start by saying, I have not read the book, so I can't compare the two.
The film is set only 20 years or so from now in which for some inexplicable reason, infertility is a global epidemic, and the last baby was born 18 years ago, brought to our attention by the news that he just died tragically. As in V for Vendetta England is the only nation standing, and those of us from the States, Europe and Asia have all descended into chaos and anarchy. However, the England that prevails is the England of Pink Floyd's vision of a Neo Nazi facist England that rules with an iron fist. In fact Pink Floyd references are included in the film, the last bastion of art is inside the Battersea Power plant which all Floyd fans will recognize from the cover of Animals. If you don't perhaps you will recognize the giant inflatable pig that floats again, high above the Battersea Power station. Also inside is Pablo Picasso's famous painting Guernica, and Michaelangelo's Statue of David. The residents inside chill out listening to King Crimson albums. Outside, Fugees (thank's Tracy Chapman for your abbreviation for Refugees) are visciously hunted down and tossed into camps awaiting deportation, and humanity waits to die.
Theo Faron (Clive Owen) has a good job, and likes to hang out with his art loving friends, including Jasper (Michael Caine) who lives in a hidden home in the forest where he can smoke pot and listen to Rolling Stones cover tunes. Apparently, at one time, Theo was a bit of a radical and hung out with Julian Taylor (Julianne Moore) and he is taken one day for a meeting with her. She trusts him, and wants her to take a refugee, Kee (Claire Hope Ashitey) to safe harbor. What he doesn't know at first is that Kee is pregnant.
On their car ride to safety, they are stopped and taken by a radical movement that wants Kee for their own political purposes. They say that if the government finds out about Kee's pregnancy they will also use Kee for political purposes. Kee just wants to make it to some place called the Human Project, which may or may not exist. These asylums seem to exist in the minds of people in many post apocalyptic movies.
The movie is a roller coaster ride from there on as Theo does what he can to lead Kee and her baby to safety amidst an England rife with civil uprising and fighting in the streets.
I think many of these themes have been covered before in science fiction books and movies, but I did enjoy the film, it kept me riveted to the screen.
Soundtrack I think one of the things I really loved about this movie was the soundtrack. My jaw dropped when Clive Owen was driving to the Battersea Power Plant and In the Court of the Crimson King played. The score was a mix of classic 60s music, opera arias and classical. I also really liked a slow melancholy cover of Ruby Tuesday by the Rolling Stones. If I find a soundtrack of this movie, I plan to buy it.
I like Clive Owen as an actor, he is a good leading man. Michael Caine was funny as an aging hippy complete with shoulder length grey blonde hair and full length beard.
Julianne Moore did a good job as well as a radical leader, but then again, I haven't seen Julianne Moore in too many movies where her acting wasn't great (although Freedomland does come to mind)
Claire Hope Ashitey is a young pretty black actress that I have not seen before. She gave a very powerful performance in this role, and she more than held her own with veteran actors Moore and Owen.
Summary Although some of the sci - fi, political themes were a bit cliched, this film still made them feel fresh. The films pacing was excellent and kept me interested in the story, and the actors kept me interested in the characters they portrayed. I also LOVED the soundtrack. Although I don't think the film quite merits five stars, it gets a very solid four.
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