Children of Men (2006)

This dystopian drama starring Clive Owen was the movie of the week at the Victor house. Honestly, I was not quite sure how to handle it. 

The film essentially describes the year 2027, eighteen years after the world population loses its fertility. Women are no longer able to have children, until Clive Owen becomes responsible for the protection of a West African pregnant young woman named Kee. Of course, in a world of such distress and turmoil, countless parties are attempting to control Kee and her unborn (and eventually born) child. The first escape is from a group of rebels known as the Fishes, who hope to use the child at their political symbol.

I had several problems watching this film, and most of them had to do with a lack of information. We have no idea as to why this has happened (which, I suppose, is part of the frightening mystery), and there is no clarification as to why Britain has turned itself into a totalitarian police state while being considered the only stable nation left.

I was able to accept this ambiguity when I read an article about how Alfonso Cuaron hated expository films. He said that they were meant for the “lazy audience.” I was only mildly offended, since I don’t find anything wrong in watching a film for its pure entertainment value. However, it did make me feel better – since the faults I found in the film were completely deliberate – a part of the director’s specific vision. I had to at least respect him for that.

That doesn’t take away the fact that one scene completely infuriated me. We’ve just sat through about twenty minutes of firecracking gunshots and Clive Owen running around with the crazy gypsy lady. He finally finds Kee and the child, takes her from politically-enraged Luke (the fantastic Chiwetel Ejiofor), and they begin their escape. Of course the kid is wailing her head off because of all of the violence, making her an obvious object of attention. The child’s cries have not been heard in eighteen years. Clive Owen, Kee, and the baby march through a crowd of sudden silence, since everyone is so stunned. It was supposed to be a beautiful moment of peace and hope amidst all of the darkness, but I found myself just shaking my head.

Why didn’t they just use this genius tactic at the beginning of the movie? Yes, I understand the baby would be a target of danger, but the scene does not exemplify this reality whatsoever. It proved that they have more allies than we originally thought. After this, I was left with my ears ringing from the gunshots lamenting the fact that I was never going to get the last two hours of my life back.

The film simply did not frighten me and I did not believe in it. If you are interested in action sequences and some quite thrilling chase scenes, sure, but this was not my kind of post-apocalyptic movie. I’d rather watch 28 Days Later.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention the BS CGI baby. Too much, I can’t.

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