Never Let Me Go
How many good movies about clones have ever been made? Off the top of my head, I can think of precisely zero. There was 'The Sixth Day,' a masterpiece that managed to make a movie starring two Arnold Schwarzeneggers suck. Then there was 'Duplicity,' which gave us a million Michael Keatons but no Batman, and most recently 'Surrogates,' which wasn't really about clones but was sort of about clones and actually gave Bruce Willis his hair back, which I suppose should be counted as a minor triumph as long as he doesn't go near any mirrors. And now there's "Never Let Me Go."
The entire premise of "Never Let Me Go" is so simple as to be ridiculous. Medical science has decided that growing clones and harvesting their organs is the only way to fight disease. Fair enough – but instead of raising these clones in giant vats hidden out of the public eye, they are instead housed at bizarre British boarding schools and cottages where they are given the chance to interact with the people whom they will later be cut up to save. And also, most likely, to be molested by older gentlemen in the name of tradition and the Queen, because if there is one thing I have learned about British boarding schools through the magic of movies, it's that they are the source of more sexual debauchery than the Playboy Mansion on Wing Night.
Personally, I see nothing wrong with vats. Much in the same way that I don't want to look my hamburger in the eye before it gets to my plate, I certainly don't want to have a conversation with my new liver before it's implanted into my undeserving body. Vats take care of this problem nicely, are entirely self-contained and don’t cry themselves to sleep at night because they are so very, very alone in the world.
Vats would also solve the problem of escape, an issue that is simply NOT an issue in the film. Even pigs make a run for sweet, terrible freedom if you leave the gate open, but these remarkably docile men and women simply accept their fate without complaint, dutifully presenting themselves at hospitals to be sawn apart and roughly reassembled until the next call for eyes or kidneys is made. In my estimation the "characters" in "Never Let Me Go" must have been modeled after a combination of the Rolling Stones and fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs – no other genetic design would leave them so blasé about multiple trips to the operating table and simultaneously so satisfied with mediocrity.
Truth be told, the hour and a half of "Never Let Me Go" slides by like a clone of too many other pointless British films – dreary people leading dreary lives, only this time instead of marrying their boss or inheriting some kind of vast fortune everyone ends up in a bloody mess under white fluorescent lights. I can't wait for the sequel where the cloned corpses are accidentally reanimated, setting them free to go on a mad spree of not doing anything much at all before dying alone in an empty apartment. They could call it "Never Let Me Go 2: This Is Your Life In 30 Years." Or something like that.
To spread the word about this Never Let Me Go review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.