TheoLooking at the films in our future-fest, to this point, there are many similarities.  Set in the future, male lead character embarks on a dangerous journey of discovery and enlightenment.  So far Children of Men is the only one that puts it all together correctly.  This is hard to write because I really like Dark City.  But Theo and Clive Owen are leading my race for best character and actor.  Children of Men could have easily been an updated version of Soylent Green.  Both films take place in similar, realistic, not over techy versions of the future, where the Government and the affluent are secluded from the chaos.  But what Soylent Green lacks is the depth of the main character.  This what Children of Men has over those films, a compelling protagonist.

The film begins with an apathetic Theo, unaffected by the death of Baby Diego, grabbing a cup of coffee, walking out of the coffee shop which is then blown up.  Although we see this future is not bright and that humankind will come to an end if we cannot procreate, what I see is a guy who doesn’t give a shit because his world died along time ago with the death of his son.  And just when he begins to see some light, with his estranged wife returning and requiring his help, she is killed.  But not all is lost for Theo because he has taken on the task of protecting the only pregnant woman.  Hope for humanity and Theo resides in her belly, perhaps a gift from his wife.  But Theo’s torment is not over in that these new chain of events have threatened the lives of those he holds dear.  His long time friend Jasper spares his life so that Theo and the girl can escape.  I honestly didn’t think Theo would continue but he sees what he must do.  I think his continuation goes beyond not wanting to fail his wife, Jasper, or the girl for that matter who he has now bonded with.  The death of his son destroyed him but maybe he needed to be completely obliterated before he re-invested in this world.  And I think he does, especially with the birth of the baby whose innocence he must protect.  Maybe Theo felt he failed his son who he could not protect from the flu but he wasn’t going to fail this woman or baby.  Bullets would not stop him until he completed his task.

Children of Men is great for all the reasons Evan stated.  Many films don’t allow the characters to breath and just exist in the world of the story.  The new Star Trek movie is an example, tying in to the Sci-fi theme.  You never see the Federation or other aspects of the Star trek cosmos to know enough and to see what is really at stake when the universe is threatened.  Too much concern with moving from one sequence to the next.  Children of Men allows you to develop an emotional attachment to the characters and true concern for the survival of humanity.

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