Wednesday, April 04, 2007


A classic dystopian vision of the future. No human baby has been born in 18 years as a plague of infertility sweeps the globe. In its wake civilization has collapsed everywhere except jolly old England, where the government has assumed extraordinary powers to fight terrorism and illegal immigration. Clive Owen plays a functionary of some sort who barely notices the cages of starving 'fugees at each Tube stop on his way to work every day. Then his life is turned upside down by a terrorist organization, launching the action.

Not much suspension of disbelief is required to fall into this future, alas. It's easily imaginable, and the violence, squalor, and despair in the film are already a reality for much of the globe. I was swept along by the film, by its performances and its grit. A radio DJ at one point announces a song by saying "This one is from 2003, those happy days when people refused to accept that the future was here." The future is here now--REPENT, and buy land in Alaska if you can afford it.

In the extras is an interesting documentary featuring Slavoj Zizek, Naomi Klein, James Lovelock, John Gray and other intellectual heavy-weights who respond to the film's portrayal of the 21st century. Naomi Klein mentions the appearance of fortified 'green pockets' around the globe where wealthy people live in comfort and safety apart from the seething masses of desperate humanity. James Lovelock thinks a few hundred million survivors will gather at the eventually tropical North Pole and will slowly rebuild civilization. Slavoj Zizek thinks we all know what's coming but are paralyzed into inaction by the weight of his enormous intellect. Or something.

Good, bleak cinema.

No comments: