Soylent Green (Richard Fleisher, 1973)


Soylent Green, directed by Richard Fleisher (1973).

Score: Oldie but not that goodie.

I’m a sucker for scarcity and overpopulation biopunks, so that’s why I decided to watch this, even though I already knew the plot twist. I didn’t expect much from it but I was still a bit disappointed.

In a future New York city plagued by overpopulation and a year-around heat wave, police agent Thorn (Charlton Heston) has to investigate the murder of a board member of Soylent, the company that produces processed food for the masses worldwide. He shares a flat with an old Jewish man, Sol (Edward G. Robinson) who still remembers real food, the countryside and being able to stretch your arms around without poking someone’s eye.

It starts out okay and the environment and atmosphere are correct, but what kills it for me is that the main character is very unpleasant, and the others are not much better. The rampant misogyny didn’t help either. If I lived in such a lousy world I would do what poor Sol did, too, even if I didn’t learn Soylent’s secret. Such a rotten society wasn’t going anywhere and the ones who helped it come to existence had it coming. Now go look in a mirror and tell yourself that we don’t have an overpopulation or resources problem.

All in all, if you already know the twist, don’t even bother. If you don’t, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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