Like all great Dystopian science fiction, Soylent Green is unremittingly bleak. The themes of overpopulation, pollution and finally cannibalism show a world on the brink of destruction.
Charlton Heston plays Robert Thorn, a police officer who, after investigating the murder of a rich lawyer, becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that undermines the entire fragile world that Soylent Green takes place in. Moments of great sadness, particularly the heartbreaking scene where Thorn sees stock footage of the world before are dampened slightly by some dull melodrama and dated fight scenes. Perhaps the most troubling thing about the film is its treatment of women, who are frequently referred to as furniture and take no important roles within the film. However on the whole Soylent Green is a well paced, thought provoking science fiction vehicle with brains and a gut-wrenching climax that in our modern world, is maybe even more relevant now than when it was released in 1973.