CHILDREN OF MEN
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A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
I don't know the right word. I mean, is it still called genocide if people do it to themselves? By the way, I'm not talking about the movie.
The movie being CHILDREN OF MEN, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN) and written by Mr. Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and based on the book by P.D. James.
The story begins in London in the year 2027. Theo (Clive Owen: SIN CITY) is getting his morning coffee. The coffee shop TV broadcasts a news bulletin that the world's youngest person has been knifed to death by a crazed fan. We quickly learn that about 18 years ago, for some unknown reason, every woman on Earth became infertile. No children have been born since then and humanity is heading for extinction.
Theo leaves and pauses to add some courage to his coffee when a bomb destroys the coffee shop. This is a violent time, with much of the world already collapsed into chaos. Knowing that the world is ending makes many people eagerly suicidal.
England is one of the last bastions of civilization and refugees from everywhere try to get here. This has turned the country into a police state and illegal aliens are rounded up and shipped out as fast as the police can find them. Pro-refugee groups work to change this situation, often through terrorism.
Theo isn't part of any of that. He's a sad man, still grieving over the death of his son twenty years ago. He spends his free time getting stoned with his best friend Jasper (Michael Caine: BATMAN BEGINS, THE PRESTIGE). But one day he gets approached (and by approached I mean kidnapped) by a pro-refugee group that turns out to be headed by his ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore: CAST A DEADLY SPELL, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, EVOLUTION, HANNIBAL, THE FORGOTTEN). They need some travel papers to help get someone out of the country and Theo has a connection.
The person in question (as Theo eventually discovers) is Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), a young refugee girl who, much to Theo's stunned surprise, is pregnant. The first pregnant woman in decades and perhaps the only one on Earth. Julian wants to get her to a semi-mythical group called The Human Project, but others have darker designs for her.
And that's all I'm going to say about that. What I will say is that this is a very good movie. There's a visual style here that I've never seen before. The director is a master of the most basic movie principle: show, don't tell. The way the violence, especially, is shown feels grittily real often because it is simple and quick or shown from a distance and subdued. The sense of a tiny bit of hope awash in a sea of hopelessness, about to sink out of sight at any moment, is amazingly well done.
But what about the science? It's definitely time for an in depth
Read THE SCIENCE MOMENT/Children of Men for the full science.
My point being that CHILDREN OF MEN is more than just a good sci-fi action movie. Most people see it as humanity getting its comeuppance for damaging the environment. But I see it as a dramatization of the cultural suicide taking place right before our eyes. I give it four shriek girls.