SOYLENT GREEN

Richard Fleischer’s sci-fi cult classic is a disturbing premise given the (unintentional) camp treatment that is, ultimately, rather a letdown. Charlton Heston is Thorn, a detective in 2022 New York City, where the population is 40,000 and there is a massive food crisis. The Soylent Corporation has taken over everything, handing out rations of synthetic food like “Soylent Yellow” and “Soylent Green” (“made from 100% natural soy products!”). Thorn is conducting a murder investigation and it, inevitably, coincides with the revelation of what Soylent Green really is. The film, directed by Richard Fleischer (“Doctor Doolittle”, “Tora! Tora! Tora!”), is based on the novel by Harry Harrison and transplants an intriguing premise (a nefarious corporation attempting to control overcrowding in a heatwave-induced urban wasteland) onto a fairly boring and sub-standard police procedural. When the ending comes, it is abrupt, silly, and leaves you sitting there thinking of words to that old song: “Is that all there is?”

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