5 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Soylent Green [DVD]  (DVD)
Some people in this forum are placing 'Soylent Green' in the same category as sci-fi classics like 'Blade Runner' and 'Planet of the Apes' but it really does not merit such status. Despite the fact that the film, made in '73, deals with issues that are now pressing social concerns (i.e. over population and environmental melt down) it's so poorly executed and muddled that it sinks to the position of bad B movie.
Admittedly, director Richard Fleischer sets up some interesting shots, shows excellent compositional skills and uses some interesting camera work. These elements are visible primarily in the scenes in the swanky apartment, near the beginning of the film. Good as this scene is, it's entirely the wrong visual image to put so near the start of the film. This is meant to be a world bursting with over population and rotting with degradation, yet Fleischer lets the camera linger for ages on a luscious interior. There are a few shots of Charlton Heston climbing over sleeping bodies on a staircase, but it's hardly enough to evoke the type of fictional world the creators of the film had envisaged. Again, Heston and Robinson's apartment tells us very little about this world.
When we are finally shown the world of this near-future imagining, it's simply awful - terribly conceived, contrived and shoddy looking. It just looks like a load of film extras on a cheap film-set and the riot police look like basket ball players. There is no variation of tone at all in this scene and the film texture is just plain nasty - it has a horrid, washed out yellow sheen that repels the viewer as opposed to captivating them.
A film like 'Planet of the Apes' is good enough to absorb an actor of limited abilities such as Charlton Heston yet Soylent Green is so weak that all of his failings just float to the surface. This was also a bad note for a good actor to bow out on - this was Edward G. Robinson's last film and the scene where he goes through a sci-fi version of euthanasia accompanied by cinematic imagery and classical music just smacks of poor-man's Kubrick.
This film is a time capsule that would be better left un-opened. The classics of this genre remain -The Man Who Fell to Earth, Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes e.t.c. Soylent Green doesn't even come close.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 May 2010 16:50:21 BDT
WJ FOX says:
Totally agree with you. A very overrated film. I can't believe how many 5 star reviews it has on here.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›