In his earlier film, The Omega Man, Charlton Heston finds himelf alone against a world depopulated by biological warfare, with only a handful of children survivors and the creepy, plague-deranged Family to keep him company. Whereas that film explores the ramifications of massive depopulation, Soylent tackles the opposite question: what happens if there are too many people? The two films focus almost entirely on the urban, city-street setting, and both of Heston's characters are very similar. I enjoyed Soylent more, if only because I think the dramatism was better executed and the 70's kitsch was not nearly as bothersome. Politically, Soylent is obviously a product of the Zero Population Growth movement, which is itself dedicated to ubiquitous birth control and rationing of virtually every resource known to the modern world. Thankfully the spooky predictions of the 70's seem about as realistic in 2004 as Orwell's 1984 was in the real 1984. But as a mental experiment, Soylent is very engaging. Especially the plight of Sol Roth, portrayed by a nicely aged Edward G. Robinson. In many ways I was attracted to and empathized with Sol more than heston, as Sol is obviously a creature of our time stranded in the horrible future of Heston's Detective Thorn. Sol's ultimate demise is a heartbreaking scene, at once glorifying humanity and nature, while also damning a society which views people as little more than carbon compounds, to be recycled and consumed again and again. As the film's most famous line tells us, the secret of Soylent green is no secret at all. The really interesting stuff is in the characters and how each responds to this would-be dystopia of the not-too-distant future. Put together with the previously mentioned Omega Man, and Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green is a must for students of celluloid science fiction; especially Heston fans.