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Soylent Green

Human Rating: 4 / 5 Alien Rating: Government Cover Up

Mmmm... Soylent Green...

Soylent GreenAn often-overlooked sci-fi classic, Soylent Green presents the viewers with a grim look at a bleak future. Set in 2022 New York City, this 'Seventies science-fiction movie did well at the box office then and was particularly popular in the French speaking world as Soleil Vert. This flick is a sort of Eco-thriller not uncommon for its time. What sets it aside from many dubious movies of the kind is a good main actor (Charlton Heston), an original story and a subtle way to fluidly mingle a social critique and mild-paced action without being too corny or obvious. Adding the thought that this kind of future might happen and you've got a film that is still true and believable.

Set in an poor, overpopulated and heavily-polluted world where fresh food and tap water are commodities only the very rich can afford, Soylent Green is the story of a cop (Charlton Heston) investigating a murder committed amongst the elite of society. Through his investigation he will discover a terrible conspiracy which just might shake the actual foundation of civilization.

Soylent GreenMany would say that this flick aged badly since its 1973 release, that many styles and concepts (free sex & bad haircuts not unlike Logan's Run (1976)) would not even apply today. I like to see the small technical flaws like a reminder that a great movie can still forecast the future in general while setting its environment in a style the viewers (at the time) can connect to. I believe that such a contemporary setting helps in selling the idea, as well as theater tickets. Still, seeing a sex worker playing "state-of-the-art" black and white Asteroids on a vertex-based arcade machine encased in a groovy round beige-plastic console brings a childish smile to my face every time.

Soylent Green might not be your modern shoot-em-up action/adventure/sci-fi mix like Starship Troopers (1997) or Independence Day (1996), but it offers instead a meditative look at a future that might be. If you like thought provoking visions like 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Gattaca (1997), then Soylent Green is definitively worth a good look.

Review by René-Marc Simard.

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