A whopper of a heart-kicker, Children of Men is a full-throttle futuristic thriller with a flat-out fabulous performance by Clive Owen as a British civil servant in a bleak, despairing, depressing world thats been thrown into chaos and anarchy.
Its an Orwellian 2027 and female infertility plagues the globe. No babies have been born, anywhere, for 18 years.
Former political activist-turned-bureaucrat, Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is reluctantly drawn in to a resistance movement when hes kidnapped by a rogue terrorist group called the Fish thats headed by his militant ex (Julianne Moore) who convinces him to obtain transit papers for a young refugee, Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), who must flee the country.
When plans go awry in London, Theo drives the girl to the secret country hideaway of his eccentric, drug-addled friend Jasper (Michael Caine), a former political cartoonist but their pursuers are close behind. Its all about the desperate chase to save humanity because, inexplicably, Kee is pregnant!
Based on a 1993 novel by British mystery writer P.D. James and adapted by writer/director Alfonso Cuaron with Timothy J. Sexton, its rife with thought-provoking social and political themes, revolving around immigration and terrorism and far more believable than 28 Days or V for Vendetta. Also credit photographer Emmanuel Lubezski and production designers Jim Clay and Geoffrey Kirkland who create indelible images of wailing prisoners held in Guantanamo-like cages in an oppressive, rubble-littered landscape. And Cuarons seamless editing is truly remarkable.
But its also rather confusing, filled with heavy-handed religious allusions and allegorical symbolism and too little is explained about Theo and Kees ultimate goal, known only as The Human Project. Nevertheless, on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Children of Men is a gritty, gripping 8. Its apocalyptic sci-fi.