Starring: Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine
Running time: 109 minutes
Directed By: Alfonso Cuaron
Written By: Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby
This is a film I have always liked the look of but had never actually got round to watching. I had heard lots about it, people raving about it, and others uninterested by it, so unfortunately for me it meant I had kind of heard what the story was about before it even began. I'll tell you briefly what it is about but I won't give too much away.
Clive Owen is our lead here playing Theo, a man who lives in London in 2027. The world as we know it is slowly disintegrating, and radicals and governments fight over power. With other countries falling to financial decline, England has become the place all nationalities try to live in. For the government however this is not allowed and all foreigners are labelled as illegal immigrants, and locked away in a separate location. Another reason for the decline of society is due to the fact that all women have strangely become infertile, and no child has been born in eighteen years. No one knows why women have become infertile but many seem to believe it is due to pollution and scientific experiment.
When the youngest person on Earth, aged eighteen, is killed the rebels take action and decide to transport the person they believe will change the world out of the country. Whilst walking through the city, Theo is abducted and taken to see the leader of the radicals, his ex-wife Julia (Moore). She explains that they have an immigrant that needs to be transported and that they need him to forge the papers. After offering him money he accepts, but later finds he can only find a dual transit visa and will need to escort this woman himself. For the extra money he is happy to do it.
As they begin to transport this woman they are ambushed and an important member of the radicals is killed. The rest luckily escape and make it to a safe house, only for Theo to overhear that the whole thing is a set up, and that they don't tend to save this woman at all, and eventually kill Theo. At that Theo takes this woman and heads off in order to deliver her across the border, as he now believes she is the only hope to save the world. I won't tell you why but I'm pretty sure you can guess why she is so important.
The film sees lots of guns, death, sadness, hope, and love. It is a film that has absolutely everything and that is an absolute homage to Cuaron for choosing the camera technique and the cinematographer for produce some beautiful scenery, which adds to all the themes it explores. Also big applause must go to Clive Owen. Not all the acting in this film is great but Owen manages to draw you in from the start and is utterly believable in his role. He is the hero but is so afraid of the way life has become. This is his best performance I have seen.
Like I said before, the cinematography is brilliant. It really captures an image that works in this scenario. You could really believe that this was a decrepit London. Even the scenes in the forest looked just as gloomy, and the final battle feels like it is in a concentration camp. This scene has some beautiful shots and a fantastic long action sequence where the camera doesn't change angle. You really believe you are there and amongst it.
It is a little slow to start and at times, especially in the opening half hour, I was losing concentration with it. Some of the acting at the beginning really didn't convince me either, especially Clare-Hope Ashitey who plays the woman needing to be saved, Kee. I did finally get used to her but at first I wasn't buying it. Also later in the film there is a dreadful character called Sid that refers to himself in the third person which is utterly annoying. I was so glad when he got a battery to the face.
The action scenes and Owen's performance really drive this film. Caine is also good in his small role although he did keep asking someone to pull his finger. The cinematography of this film is worth a watch for all aspiring film makers out there. The vision is so believable, and paints the future much more realistic than sci-fi movies do. It is a film filled with hope yet it is also one that convinces as to what could happen in the future. Other than the infertility thing of course but personally I think the film is about more than just that.
3.5 / 5
Next film to review: ZOMBIELAND