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Children of Men


Stars: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Clare-Hope Ashitey, Peter Mullan, Charlie Hunnam, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Pam Ferris

Director: Alfonso Cuaron

One of those futuristic tales about the last pregnant woman on Earth, this one, set in 2027, is all the more depressing for killing off its more interesting characters as it goes along.

It's never clear what the expectant mum (Ashitey) is hoping to find. Her goal, 'The Human Project' isn't really explained. nor what she's running from - a group of activists called Fishers, who plan to use her for their own (obscure) purposes.

Theo (Owen), the anti-hero, tries to protect her, remembering his own dead child. His activist ex (Moore) is killed, as is his hermetic poet friend Jasper, played by Caine, who briefly enlivens the film with his idiosyncratic appearances. Why the insurgents want to kill them, though, is as baffling as the rest of this.

Ferris is also interesting as the girl's chaperone, but she, too, is dispatched before we can find out much about her.

There are some well-made action scenes in a ruined England towards the end, but the story just drifts off into nothingness.

David Quinlan

USA/UK 2006. UK Distributor: UIP (Universal). Colour by De Luxe.
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 15 Sep 2006