Published on October 19th, 2007 | by Chris0
Children of Men (2006)
OK, I know what you're thinking. "What are you smoking over there! Children of Men isn't a war movie!"'
Well, you're right it isn't. It falls somewhere in the "dystopian future science fiction" category. Children of Men follows the story of Theo (Clive Owen) who is somewhat forced into the situation of delivering the first baby born in the UK in eighteen years, and her mother, Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) to safety. Along the way we're witness to a lot of 'bad future' scenarios.
But the sole reason I'm putting a review of this up here, is one of the absolutely brutal and (I can only imagine) realistic combat scenes I think I've seen on film. Granted I've never witnessed such things personally, but this film really scares the crap out of you during the firefights and ambushes. Especially during the final scenes, as Theo and Kee escape through a bombed out city block with the government troops fighting the resistance with tanks and small arms. The bullets bouncing off the concrete, sending shards of it flying, the tank shelling out the building. It's just intense, and done in such a believable way that its just damn scary. I think I said that already, but damn. If you've ever imagined what it might really be like, I think it comes close. The sound and the "directness" of it all just is painful. The direction in these scenes really puts you right there. More so even than the current flagships of "realistic combat" movies like Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down.
Forget the usual "Hollywood-style" deaths and injuries, here when you're shot, bad things tend to happen. A prime example of this comes early on in the picture, as Julian (Julianne Moore) is shot point blank in the front seat of a car as they run from an ambush, and while that whole scene is scary and brutal, her death is even more abruptly brutal and messy. None of the usual drama. Just here one minute gone the next. No gasping for air and the typical "last words" business. Its just over.
No its not pretty, nor is it fun, but its really necessary to get the point across about the urgency of Theo and Kee's plight. It might seem like I'm "celebrating" this film's depiction of death, combat, and destruction, but I'm not, really. If what's depicted here is even close to reality, then I have to applaud direction Alfonso Cuarón for not taking the easy way out.
Apart from the hyper-realistic brutality of combat, the rest of the story is just plain good as well, as are all of the performances. Michael Caine does an exceptionally good job early on as the aging oddball "hippy" Jasper which Theo seeks out advice and help from.
You'll have to put on your "I'm watching a scifi film" hat for sure, but the total package is surprisingly good. Also consider than I'm a big fan of these type of movies, so maybe I'm a bit biased.
Children of Men is rated R, obviously, and its not particularly long either. But if you missed this the first time around, or have put it off because of the nature of the story, I'd give it a watch just to have the crap scared out of you.
Children of Men
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No children. No future. No hope. In the year 2027, eighteen years since the last baby was born, disillusioned Theo (Clive Owen) becomes an unlikely champion of the human race when he is asked by his former lover (Julianne Moore) to escort a young pregnant woman out of the country as quickly as possible...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- Clive Owen
- Julianne Moore
- Michael Caine
- Peter Mullan
- Pam Ferris
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: if you missed this the first time around, or have put it off because of the nature of the story, I'd give it a watch just to have the crap scared out of you.