New York, 2022. Suffering from overpopulation, pollution and depleted natural resources, the city’s inhabitants survive on a processed food substitute made by the Soylent corporation. While investigating the murder of a Soylent executive however, Detective Thorn (Heston) realises that he’s stumbled onto something big regarding the corporation and its new food source…
Following Planet Of The Apes and The Omega Man, Soylent Green completes a loose trilogy of dystopian, post-apocalyptic sci-fi for Charlton Heston. Sitting somewhere between the two (vastly inferior to the former and slightly superior than the latter), Richard Fleisher’s adaptation of Harry Harrison’s novel paints an effective and relevant warning of an oppressive future, yet it’s frequently too sluggish and uneventful to prove satisfying.
Heston plays his usual cynical anti-authoritarian – all take-charge attitude, weary existentialism and a natty neck-tie – thus cementing himself as the premiere, go-to leading man of dystopian science fiction. Edward G. Robinson lends solid pathos in his final screen role as Thorn’s researcher friend, whilst there’s a nice sting in the tale via the final revelation (even though you’ll either have guessed it along the way or know what happens thanks to pop culture).
Following Planet Of The Apes and The Omega Man, Soylent Green completes a loose trilogy of dystopian, post-apocalyptic sci-fi for Charlton Heston.