Children Of Men - DVD Review

I haven’t seen one comment on Children of Men which doesn’t mention, in some little way, the outstanding, different and genuinely fresh direction which Alfonso Cuaron imbues onto this grimy yet witty piece of futuristic noir. And guess what… this is no exception.

Sitting on a comfy seat watching the DVD of the film, about forty-five or so minutes in I was completely surprised to find I had been sitting with an empty glass in my hand for probably thirty of those forty-five minutes. My jaw was also hovering dangerously close to slobber-level as a key character was shot, a flaming car rolled dangerously close to a second vehicle full of highly-paid actors and Clive Owen kicked a man off a motorcycle. All in one shot. I’ll say that again because if you haven’t seen it yet then this is your reason to go and get it now… the entirety of the above sequence is accomplished with (apparently) one camera, in one shot and the effect is absolutely spellbinding.

Its not the only one of these magnificent tracking shots either as later on we see Owen’s charismatic Theo avoid gunfire in a building under attack from all sides as the camera manoeuvres its way through tanks and crumbling walls, blood and flying bullets to keep up the pace set by the leading man.

A fantastic supporting turn from Michael Cain more than makes up for the fact that Julianne Moore, as rebel leader Julian, appears horribly miscast. In a film which features so much British acting talent (Owen, Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Peter Mullan) she seems out of place as the lone American and it would have been nice for director, studio and producer to keep the faith with an all British cast.

This can’t, however, de-rail what is one of the most original, yet grimly familiar, films I have had the pleasure of watching in a long time. Watch it now but before you start be sure to pour yourself an extra-large glass of your favourite tipple, supported by a nice, clean bib!

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