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children of men Children of Men
Directed By:
Alfonso Cuaron
Cast: Juan Gabriel Yacuzzi, Michelle Hussain, Rob Curling, Clive Own, Laurence Woodbridge
Written by: 
Ricardo Barberini

June 7, 2007

A truly nonsensical movie by an untalented director who tries to fit a doomsday scenario into a two hour depressingly stupid movie even though it is based on the work of the famous mystery writer P.D. James.


Clive Owen at one time was considered by MGM as the next James Bond.  He had successfully played a nearly blinded detective in Second Sight for several years.  And he looked more like Ian Fleming’s James Bond than Daniel Craig.  However, he was passed over by the studio and having seen his pained performance in this movie it seems with good reason. 

He plays Theo Faron a jaded office worker in London in 2027.  For some reason that the script writers never tell us, a global infertility has hit the world.  There have been no new children born for 18 years.  In fact, the movie opens up with the death of the youngest member of human race at just over 18 years. 

Theo has a friend, Jasper Palmer, played by Michael Caine.  Jasper is a hippy type person who lives quietly with his vegetative wife in a hidden cottage in a forest.  In such a remote location, he has all the comforts of home such as music and electricity and yet the authorities do not know where he lives.  How absurd. 

Since the world is in turmoil, what do the authorities do?  They start with creating massive camps to deport all foreigners from England.  Why?  What purpose would that serve?  Normally, you would want to encourage fertility at all costs rather than deport those who are most likely to produce children.  Well, the answer is locked up in the feeble mind of the writers.

So, the story goes on.  Theo is contacted by a former lover Julian Taylor (Julianne Moore) for help.  Julian is considered a terrorist because of her work on behalf of the refugees and illegal immigrants.  She asks Theo to transport a young girl out of London to a place of safety on the coast.  From there she will need to be transported to a humanitarian ship that will take care of her.

Theo accepts the assignment for 5000 grand.  We assume that by 2027 it is 5000 Euros.  Anyway, with his ex girl friend Julian, a homicidal driver and the girl’s spiritual healer they head for the coast.  Along the way, they are attacked by another group of terrorists and manage to break away, but not before Julian gets shot in the neck and dies.  The driver kills two police officers for no reason and Theo, as a passenger in the car, is considered a terror suspect as well and is now being hunted down. 

It is only when they arrive at a terrorist camp that Theo realizes that the girl is over 8 months pregnant!  He must be really a dumb character.  He also realizes that the girl’s life is in danger from the terrorists as well and makes another escape with her and the healer in tow.  He runs to Jasper for help.  Jasper helps him by giving him information about a corrupt officer that he could trust and sends him on his way.  Unfortunately for Jasper, the terrorists who are in hot pursuit shoot him when he refuses to tell them where Theo and the girl are going.  So much for a secure hidden house in the forest.

Eventually, they make it to the sea.  The young girl gives birth to a baby girl.  Theo gets shot in the gut but manages to take the girl and the baby on a boat to the ship which is supposed to take them to a sanctuary before he passes away.

It is never explained why there are so many terrorist groups in the country and why they kill so indiscriminately. Also, why would the army and/or the police be so tough with the public since they know that they will be soon dying and no one would be left on the planet?  Even in a fantasy film there has to be some semblance of logic to make the story work.  What could have caused the problems and what turned the normally law abiding Britons into a race of savages?  The writers and the director have taken a lot of liberty with the movie on that level.  The idea behind the story is actually magnificent and it could have been made into a great movie.  Instead the director lets it slip through his fingers and produces a mediocre story with no message.  Just a bunch of unrelated shots acted by amateurs with no direction and spliced together.

When this movie was originally released in 2006, some critics gave it very good reviews.  We have said before that many critics write for each other and, being snobbish, try to impress the other journalists by showing how they can appreciate high brow abstract vague movies with ambiguous stories.  In our opinion, this movie had no artistic value.  The acting was insignificant and the director, Alfonso Cuaron, wasted the money and the opportunity and the talent to make, at least, a good movie.   Clive Owen had this pained expression on his face throughout the movie, Julianne Moore did not have much of a chance to perform and the rest of the cast, with the exception of Michael Caine, were amateurs that were probably picked up by the director in the streets of London.

We give this movie star1/2.  Rent it if you want to see a murky country side and gloomy overcast skies and mud and muck.  I would not rent it.

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