Children of Men is a powerful film. Two days later, I am still reeling from the sense of “lostness” I felt during as the characters fled for their lives in a lawless, futuristic England.
It is 20 years in our future, and most of the world has been devastated. England alone survives in tact. For the past 18 years, no child has been born. Theories abound over the cause of infertility, but no one can say for sure which manmade technological evil was precisely the cause. Perhaps most touching is one woman’s recollection of seeing miscarriage after miscarriage until no new babies were being born in her hospital.
Clive Owen delivers another quality performance. He’s a more rugged and less obvious choice for a Hollywood leading man, but he delivers better than most of the pretty boys Hollywood used to favor. More so than many other actors, Owen seems like a real man. The audience can really identify with him. He could just as easily be a fisherman at the docks as a secret agent. He’s got the grit to be a laborer and the finesse to be a stud. The best way to describe Clive Owen is to say that he brings realism to the film. You don’t expect him to be bullet proof. He’s not the bronzed Achilles-like Brad Pitt. He could very well die in the film and you suddenly realize that you have no idea what could happen.
Michael Caine delivers a wonderful performance. He’s a pot smoking dissident, living in obscurity and caring for his disabled wife. He brings a fun, lighthearted and irreverentÂ rebelliousness to the film without which the storyline would fall into such dark and dismal scenes that one would never hope to recover.
The plot revolves around this illegal immigrant who is miraculously pregnant. She is the first known pregnant woman in over a decade. Owen’s character vows to protect her after his ex-wife dies trying to do the same. He learns that his ex-wife’s political/military allies actually plotted her death and he flees with the woman in a desperate attempt to help her reach a secret group of scientists who will protect her and the baby.
On the whole, Children of Men is powerful. No other word describes it better. Watch it if you can stomach war violence. If you have delicate sensititivities, wait a few years for the television cut (if they ever play movies on television anymore).