Ben Oliver

Now
Banner image for Soylent Green
film

Soylent Green

You’ve gotta tell them!
11 December 2022

In a dystopian future with no real food and massive overpopulation, a detective (Charlton Heston) investigates the murder of a powerful businessman.

This film is set in 2022 so it seemed apt to give it a watch. Aside from its snappy opening montage and its final 20 minutes (of course the entire world knows the final line despite never having watched the film), it’s a tedious procession of scenes that serve to pad out the run time until the big reveal.

It’s interesting that the concerns this film had in the 70s are just as important today, notably climate change. Perhaps 50 years into the future was a little soon to be predicting the end of the world, but if you were to make Soylent Green today set in 2072, you might paint a similar picture of despair, claustrophobia, corporate greed and starvation

You’d also try to make your film a bit more engaging, rather than the aimless and meandering detective film Soylent Green turned out to be.

It’s almost worth it though not just for the famous finale but also to see Edward G. Robinson’s last ever performance; the film wrapped days before his death. He brings some slightly hammy old-timer schtick into the mix and with it a much needed dose of warmth and humanity.