In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Tight and confidently made from top to bottom,”
“I can’t really remember when I last had any hope, and I certainly can’t remember when anyone else did either.”
Is a bright future boring? As I started to watch Children of Men, I realised that there are very few movies where the future is a happy place. I guess if you take the McFly family’s situation out of it, the 2015 of Back to the Future Part II is pretty cool and looks like a nice enough place to live. But the majority of movies about the future end up with “wasteland”, or “dystopia” or, “post-apocalyptic” in their description. And another thing I’ve noticed about these depressing predictions is, the closer to our own reality the dystopian, post-apocalyptic wastelands are, the scarier they are. Which is why the reality of Children of Men is what makes it so compelling.
A decade or so from now, the world’s in rough shape. Women mysteriously became infertile 18 years ago and civilization has crumbled everywhere. The only country with any sort of or order left is England. But paranoia about refugees and growing unrest has turned it into a police state, shut off from the outside. While Theo (Clive Owen) used to be an activist, he’s now living the mundane life of a paper pushing bureaucrat. But he’s dragged back into his old life by estranged wife, Julian (Julianne Moore).
Julian and her group of rebels need papers for one of their members to pass safely through the country. Papers Theo can procure through his day job. A simple piece of forgery turns into ife and death stuff when Theo discovers that the woman in need of the papers, Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) is pregnant. The first woman to conceive in almost two decades, some people see Kee as hope, while most see her as a pawn.
IMDB classifies Children of Men as drama, sci-fi. I kind of get that, but it’s not the most easily definable movie. I guess being set in the future, with hints of the odd futuristic ways of life make it sci-fi. But there’s never anything farfetched or gimmicky about its technology. It’s a drama in as much as every actor gets to play some big, emotional scenes. But it’s also an exciting action movie and tense thriller.
Sometimes, that can be the sign of a messy movie, or an ill thought out movie where even its makers don’t know what its supposed to be. Or a movie actively trying to be everything for everyone. But while most of those movies all fall apart pretty quickly, Children of Men is so tight and confidently made from top to bottom, incorporating all these different genre tones works in a way to make everything seem all then more intense, believable and riveting.