Clive Owen, Michael Caine, Clare-Hope Ashitey
Julian: Ya know that ringing in your ears? That ‘eeeeeeeeee’? That’s the sound of the ear cells dying, like their swan song. Once it’s gone, you’ll never hear that frequency again. Enjoy it while it lasts.
It’s the year 2027, 18 years after all women became infertile and the last human was born on the earth. Theo (Owen) is just an average citizen going about his days, trying not to care about the misery around him, when his ex-wife thrusts him back into the world of vigilante activism. Theo learns that a young woman has somehow become pregnant, and it’s up to him to protect her.
There’s one major thing that Sci-Fi movies set in the future need to do, and that’s convince you of their reality. This movie definitely does that. It immerses you in its world more effectively than any other Sci-Fi movie I’ve seen recently, or maybe ever. It uses some astonishing special effects not to wow the viewer, but to create its reality more convincingly.
The political backdrop is a little muddy and hard to follow, but that’s really beside the point. The story you want to follow is of Theo and his attempts to keep Kee (Ashitey) safe from those that might want to profit from her or harm her. Her baby gives Theo hope that he’s been sorely lacking since his own child died years ago, and he knows it could give the world hope as well. The stuff about illegal immigrants being imprisoned and why there’s so much anti-government backlash is there to add texture to this vision of the future, but it’s not critical to following and enjoying the movie.
Another impressive thing is the way they give the movie almost a documentary feel by using hand held cameras and long, continous takes. It requires some very elaborately staged action sequences, but I think it makes the viewer feel far more involved in the action than a Michael Bay type movie that uses jump cuts every .07 seconds.
It’s not without its faults though. The dialogue is a little clunky at times, with too much exposition at the beginning, and it can be a little confusing at times as to who’s on whose side and what their motives are. All in all, though, it’s an enjoyable ride in a realistically bleak setting, with an interesting story and good performances.
10 – 1.1 for some confusing moments and character motivations + .3 for great camera work – .4 for some poor dialogue moments in the beginning – .4 for being almost too bleak and depressing = 8.2