Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)

THE LAST ONE TO DIE PLEASE TURN OUT THE LIGHT, The graffiti in the movie is a chilling reminder for what is imminent.

Imagine what will cause the collapse of human civilization as we know it, will it be oil crisis, global warming, shortage of consumable water, alien invasion………? How about human infertility as address in this movie?

The bleak future depicted in the movie is a timely reminder that our so-called civil society is fragile at best. All it need is some catalyst to trigger the civilization downfall à la domino effect. Here are some very intriguing points to ponder: can u imagine living in a world without newborn babies? Knowing the world is slowly but soon (if you know what I am, kind of oxymoron) coming to a pitiful end with every years go by. What would be the point of ANYTHING without a reason to keep going? Everyone will lack motivation to do just about everything; there is no future, no aim to look forward to. What’s the point of going to work to earn decent wage? Why obey the law? If I am a scientist, why should I working on a cure to a cancer knowing that every man on this planet will be gone in less than say… 70 years. I will be having a hard time telling myself to move on with my life, I will slump to depression gradually.

This dystopian sci-fi flick is poles apart from what we have seen so much these years, remakes, re-imagines, sequels after sequels, prequels after prequels, worse still, some sequels are announced before the release of a movie.

The year is 2027, the last baby was born since 18 years ago. Britain is the only organized country governed by fascist ruling. Established modern societies around the world are collapsing, slowly eroded through anarchism. Millions of refugees flock to the country seeking for haven. The government severely cracking down any illegal immigrants, by detaining any suspected one, locking up in refuge camp before being deported.

Theo, the reluctant hero (played by Clive Owen) was asked by his estranged wife, (played by Julianne Moore) to secretly escort a miraculously pregnant refugee named Kee to a research vessel offshore across the country’s coast. Being possible the humanity’s only hope, the fight to ensure Kee reaching the scheduled destination may help scientists onboard to save the future of mankind.

There are strong casts features such as the suave Clive Owen character, Theo, who is a former peace activist turned bureaucrat. He may not be a testosterone-filled action hero but an average joe like him does not deliver snappy lines before gunning down some poor bastards. On the contrary, through out the movie he almost deliberately avoiding the usage of firearm to get him out of the dangerous situation.

Michael Caine played Jasper, a carefree, chatty, hippy pot-growing former cartoonist, his “pull my finger” fart joke reminds me of someone close to me, who used to do the exact stunt. Chiwetel Ejiofor and the newcomer Claire-Hope Ashitey Round up the cast as the leader of the resistant organization and the pregnant woman respectively.

Alfonso Cuarón, the director, fruitfully produced 2 major single-shot action sequences. One is the ambush-in-the-wood scene where the POV of the camera pan around incredibly smoothly inside, I repeat inside the moving car, then follow by the intense thugs attack.
Secondly, near the end, the 6 minutes urban warfare single shot sequence is superbly filmed with gritty, unsettling style. Imagine the huge amount of corroboration needed to achieve such mounting task.

This is one of those rare movies that I proclaim loving it so much the more I watch it. The scene where the crying infant temporary stopping the war moved me to tears and at the same time put a huge grin on my face. It was such a beautiful scene. I went into this movie with huge expectation and yet I was craving for more by the time it ended on a satisfying note.

Bullet PLUS Points:
- Breathtaking cinematography
- A thinking man’s action movie
- A fitting political commentary
- Clive Owen as believable and reluctant hero
- Relatively an un-Hollywood style

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List