*** Disclaimer *** There are misspellings. Please Forgive!!
For relevance and a full film review, I suggest first reading swashbuckler332's post about the unbelievably powerful Children of Men. As for whether or not I think you should see the film (or even, should you see it before reading either or both of our comments)... I... I don't know.
As a person who lives very much in the now, who sometimes questions whether or not I deserve the prosperity in life I have experienced (I claim no wealth, no freedom from typical American middle class struggles.... but certainly, this all was not just handed to me either), post-apocalyptic tales have been the only REAL horror stories for me. They are a product hinted at as far back as in the Bible, and only truly made possible in today's modern life through the magic of Thermonuclear Weapons. They depict worse than zero-sum situations, life worse than death, or as the cliche states, where the living envy the dead. These tales can range from the outright silly (see Waterworld and The Postman), to the incredibly prescient (Children of Men), while are mostly fun/tittilating stabs at tackling modern dilemmas (Living Dead movies- and I realize I'm promoting them; A Boy and His Dog, Mad Max, Road Warrior, Terminator, Logan's Run, The Omega Man, etc.).
What makes them better ruminations on the self, is their request of not only a leave of social status, but of entire self.... can you remain principled ? would you join the motorcycle gang in The Road Warrior if you could ? They seem to survive great until they run afoul of Mel Gibson. Do you also realize that's a ridiculous analogy, as any hypermuscled freak would probably be shot before he could get a decent motorcycle ?- and I'm not trying to be dispariging of anyone's possibly "alternative life choices" here- I just mean anarchy will be anarchy, and you'd need a little charisma to hold together a group like that. So really, in the imagining of a futureworld, extension of today is more important than beginning with the attempted precognition of how people might act and then tailoring their environment to explain it.
With that, a narrative that follows vaguely known archetypical storylines with supplanted counter-type archetypes, i.e.- the depressed borderline everyman as Joseph, Jesus's stepdad,-cum-Moses; the admitted bedhopping teen girl as the Virgin Mary; the baby Jesus a girl.
The world, though. The world you see is the world you are sure will be. I will not belabor the reader a retelling of the plot, nor outline the details. Suffice it to say, that can be found elsewhere, and in places I have already mentioned.
I wish to address a few of the "plot holes" I've come across criticized elsewhere. Please bear with me.
1) Why did the FISHes kill Julia and attempt to kill Theo, and try to keep Kee and the baby from the Human Project ?
Very simple. Clearly this has been Julia's idea, to involve Theo. Her plan for some time. It's something she has obviously been advocating for awhile (Theo makes reference to the cafe bombing he narrowly avoided is the second such near miss in a relatively short time). This isn't what the FISH second in command and, obviously, a few others. They want their group to lead a revolt against, strictly, the British government and end up in power. How best to do that ? Clearly their platform paranoidly twists their thinking to beleive that the child, or the information about her, would result in this bizarre and complicated cover-up by the British government- a cover up that has entirely an immigration policy swing to it. Julia was a big picture thinker, recognizing that a study of how the pregnancy was possible would benefit the whole world, not just a narrow political agenda.
Hmp. That actually covers all of the questions I've discovered so far... more as I find more.
The other thing I wanted to say about the film is that it made me cry. From about halfway through the film, until I got home and hugged and kissed my daughters I was either openly weeping, or about to. This was a film that definately had me from go. The story begins the day before my younger daughter's 21st birthday, 16 NOV 2027. The story is about children, or the lack of them, and the protagonist is suffering in the loss of his son, about 20 years prior. The world is one in which what we've done to it is as much a problem as what has happened to us (the fertility loss). It's timeline is very much within our lifetime.... and yet not the cliched just past tomorrow. It's a world very much that looks like it could be the road ahead, and is where our children's lives lie as they become older and come into their own.
I wondered if I had damned my angels to hell.
I know of the schools of thought of those who choose not to have kids (or at least this is what they say) because the world is such an awful place, and to put children in it would be a sin. To those people, I have always said that it is always bad on earth. People always thought that the world would end within their generation. This film introduces the possibility that it is already done. All that remains is for us all to finally die. As some graffitti puts it "Last one alive, be sure to turn off the lights before you go".
Ironically, I am watching Soledad O'Brien's special on History Channel "The Last Days on Earth" as I write this. Wow. The funny thing is, I'm finding this tripe comforting. Maybe it's better if it isn't our fault. Hmp.
I have children, though. I am very much locked into concern for what they will inherit from me and the world in which I have a partial stewardship. I will in many ways be held accountable, even if they never accuse me, but through their health, their choices, their characters and their mistakes. I felt there was a theme in the film which someone wanted me (and others- please! I don't think I'm getting messages for me in TV and film) to feel that.
As a result, It's a hard film to watch. Oh, and the casual TV ads for suicide water, the concentration camps where illegal immigrants are murdered (though the government claims they are being deported), the smoldering piles of incinerated livestock (apparently depicting farm plagues), the police state, and the oddly weird deserted elementary school which I didn't actually realize right away was from lack of need more than the wrote post-apocalyptic cliche. It however, is a great great film. On my never-watch-again-o-meter, it surpasses Saving Private Ryan which caused near hysterical crying in both Patsy and I during the D-Day sequence, and much tearfulness in the subsequent hours of movie (until that rather crappy ending, I thought).