Soylent Green (1973)

soylent_green

In a near future where the world is vastly over-populated and nature’s resources have become decimated, a cop investigating the murder of a rich executive uncovers his globe-spanning ubercorporation’s dirty little secret.

Soylent Green is clearly a victim of its own reputation as it is almost inevitable that you will already know how it ends, which removes the shocking revelation that would have provided the punchline to the story. As it stands, the film is surprisingly accurate in its predictions and is one of the first corporate conspiracy theory stories to reach the big screen; it is also one of the first to marry the styles of Film Noir and science fiction. The problems lie in its rather dated and cheap looking visual effects and rather workmanlike, TV quality direction. I would also have to say that with the exception of Edward G. Robinson’s ageing bookworm, none of the cast are particularly likeable; Charlton Heston comes across as a selfish and corrupt scumbag and the women of this future society are nothing more than “furniture” – essentially live-in prostitutes.

Perhaps worth a watch if you are one of the few who haven’t absorbed the big plot twist through cultural osmosis, but otherwise it’s little more than a dated curiosity.

5/10

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