Saturday, January 20, 2007

Children Of Chumps

Great works of art teach us undying truths and, by that standard, the film "Children of Men" is great art. It proves that American film critics are scared, pretentious morons.

"Children of Men" is not a horrible movie. It's merely bad. It's not unwatchable, but there is no reason for anyone to waste two hours and watch it. Clive Owen is a great actor who does a good job. But if anyone in the audience knows what the hell he's doing at any given moment in this movie, they must be psychic.

And yet, this film is receiving rave reviews from the biggies-- NYTimes, Chicago Trib, Why? If you've seen it, please email your answer to because I'd love to hear it. Meanwhile, let me give you mine.

If you haven't seen the film, the premise is that the world has gone so bad between 2006 and 2027 that the human race can no longer reproduce. There's unspecified chaos around the world, nukes have (apparently) gone off in NYC, and Great Britain, where the movie takes place, is run by some Gestapo government or other. The plot involves the first pregnancy in 18 years, some "freedom fighters" and lots of chasing.

Nearly every reviewer refers to "Children of Men" as a political thriller. This is sheer idiocy. I challenge anyone who's seen the movie to tell me the politics of anyone in it. The resistance--what's their politics? The government? The mom? Anyone?

You don't know who's blowing up what or why. The characters and plot present no political view. The politics are all in the setting, and the hints are far from subtle.

The evil British government is rounding up illegal immigrants (right-wing bastards!). The illegals are herded into Guantanamo-like camps (right-win BUSH bastards!) where some are abused and killed, ala Abu Ghraib (pro-IRAQ right-wing Bush bastards!). And the infertility is vaguely linked to "pollution," while the main character works at the Ministry of Energy and smoke stacks belch poison into the sky (evil OIL COMPANY etc., etc.!!!)

In other words, it's a political film in the eyes of those who believe George W. Bush is going to destroy the entire planet in the next 18 months. It looks like the masturbatory fantasies of the future dystopia in Michael Moore's mind when he imagines Dictator Bush seizing power next week and imposing his jack-booted will upon an innocent world.

Any movie that hates Bush and loves babies must be good, is the thinking at the NYTimes, and so this pile of incomprehensible mush is celebrated as "transporting you with the greatness of its filmmaking."

The NYTimes reviewer--an utter dope named Manohla Dargis--reveals all about the "nervously plausible future" (did I mention Dargis is a poor writer, too?) in "Children of Men" when claims the film "holds up a mirror to these times" by showing the characters in "a hell that looks chillingly similar to the Iraqi combat areas of newspaper reportage, television news and mostly uncensored documentaries."

That's all that's required. Making a statement, no matter how muddled or unfathomable, about Iraq, war, give peace a chance, blah, blah, blah. The reviewers will love you.

Even worse is how the reviewers largely skip over the one indisputable fact about the movie--the utterly incoherent plot. Nearly everyone leaving the theater I attended was having the same conversation as they left. "What the hell was THAT?"

Yet the reviewers don't admit this. Why? I suspect it's because they don't have the guts. They sit in these screenings thinking of their Euroweenie counterparts and telling themselves "This must be a movie for super-smart people, and I don't want to look dumb. I better give it a big thumbs up. Man, I wish I was French. Then I bet this movie would totally make sense!"

It doesn't. The plot is utter crap.

If you disagree with me, I'd like to challenge you to answer a few simple questions.

1--The premise of the movie is that the human race is dying out, right? Then why would this evil government be trying to keep immigrants out? Wouldn't they need MORE people?

2--Why does the evil government want to kill the miracle baby? Wouldn't they want to rally 'round it, put it in a government lab, find a solution to the biggest problem ever? What the heck is accomplished by killing it for any reason? In other words, isn't the entire premise of the movie idiotic on its face?

3--Why are the rebels pro-immigrant? If the answer to question one is "immigrants are banned because England is already starving," (sheer speculation on my part) are the rebels really willing to blow things up so more people can starve to death?

I could go on, but the bottom line is that this movie never made a legitimate point, it never made a statement--hell, it never even made sense. The only people who will "understand" this movie are the "Bush Lied, People Died" idiots who believe that the destruction of mankind is just a matter of time.

Everyone else should go see something more rational and plausible.

Like "Night At The Museum."