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“Clive Owen stars in an apocalyptic future vision of...”

Written on: 12/04/2007 by Amanda Speedie (11 reviews written)

Clive Owen stars in an apocalyptic future vision of Britain and steals the film. He is understated at all times, tender, sensitive, afraid, and always sincere and utterly humane. However he behaves, he is absolutely believable and, when he laughs, it feels as though we are watching Clive himself, with great warmth and humour evident, and not acting at all. This is delightful because he was miscast in 'Arthur', when he appeared wooden and remote. Here he co-stars with Julianne Moore who puts in a more than usually lively appearance. She plays Julian, the leader of a band of terrorists and, although this is stretching credulity, she has a good stab at being ruthless and impassioned. Clive, on the other hand, plays Theodore, the average guy caught up in events that overtake him, and who has no reason to get involved, other than him being a decent man. Michael Caine has a cameo role as Jasper, an ageing hippie, which he clearly relishes.

The set-up is a devastated world, with all systems collapsed. Terrorist attacks and war have caused the breakdown of communication systems, commerce, industry and everything else. Britain is the last country functioning in any sense. Pollution and disease (including a 'flu pandemic) have resulted in infertility in adults and the death of all young children. The world is left with no-one under the age of 21. Into this end-of-the-world scenario the terrorists locate a pregnant young black woman and want to use her for their purposes. Somewhere in this plot I got lost. The young black girl wants to get to a research station to raise her baby which is, of course, over the water, so Clive befriends her and tries to get her away from the terrorists to safety.

It's a cracking good film. It is also just conceivable that in 2027, if computer terrorism is used, businesses and economies could collapse, and countries could be crippled. Dependence on modern technologies put the modern world at risk of attack upon organisations using computers and electronics which cannot function without either power or incorruptible systems. The idea of a pandemic makes it feasible that the weak would perish, young children and the elderly. The only option left to the survivors is to take a tablet which will make them die peacefully. There is no future. If the baby, the clear symbol of hope amidst this doom, survives it is not clear what is expected to come of it. Hope springs eternal, no matter what. Must watch again to figure out what the terrorists planned to do with said infant.

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