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Played By: Clive OwenA former activist who was devastated when his child died during a flu pandemic.
- Action Survivor: He's had no combat experience, and his only real credentials are that he was a protester with Julian. Still, he manages to make it due to determination and guile.
- The Alcoholic: A subtle example. But he still uses up the last of his alcohol to sterilize his hands before delivering Kee's baby.
- Agony of the Feet: Played for Drama after Theo loses a sandal, due to a scuffle with Syd. He proceeds to cut his foot on some scrap metal, then either hop or limp his way through the rest of the journey.
- Badass Longcoat: In keeping with the realism of the film, Theo's coat is pretty shabby and worn. It's pretty badass though. While Theo undergoes multiple wardrobe changes in the film, for better or for worse, one article of clothing is constant: the coat.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: After Julian's death; his hands are shaking and he can't even light it.
- The Cynic: He's extremely embittered by the world and his own hardships, as exemplified by his conversation with Jasper.Jasper: So, the Human Project is havin' this dinner and all the wisest men in the world are there...Theo: Human Project, why do people believe this crap? You know even if these people existed with these facilities in these secret locations, fuck me, that's strong! Even if they discovered the cure for infertility, doesn't matter! Too late. World went to shit. Know what? It was too late before the infertility thing happened, for fuck's sake.Jasper: ...I was just tryin' to tell a joke, man.
- Deadpan Snarker: He is extremely snarky.
- Delivery Guy: Theo helps Kee deliver her baby in a rundown building in the middle of a battle-torn refugee camp.
- Despair Event Horizon: Went through it years prior to the film after the death of his son.
- Does Not Like Guns: A bit more subtle than most, but throughout the film, Theo never once picks up a firearm. Hell, when he kills Syd, he uses a blunt object.
- Empty Shell: How he seems to get through the days at the start of the film.
- Friend to All Living Things: As a Biblical allusion, animals love him and are attracted to him. Lampshaded when he visits the farm and dogs that are said to tear anyone else to pieces happily come up to him with wagging tails.
- Functional Alcoholic: His mild alcoholism doesn't really impede him in any way. He drinks to dull his pain, not to get drunk.
- The Hero Dies: Theo takes a bullet from Luke and ends up expiring on a rowboat after getting Kee to the Human Project.
- Heroes Want Redheads: He certainly wanted Julian.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He makes sure that Kee gets to the Human Project, even if he dies in the process.
- Knight in Sour Armour: Theo is a bitter, alcoholic cynic but he has a good heart and will do the right thing.
- Perma-Stubble: He sports a constant unshaven look.
- Technical Pacifist: Theo bashes a couple of heads in self-defense (with a car door and car battery, respectively), but not once during the course of the film does he ever pick up a gun from any of the dead guys he passes by.
- Unlikely Hero: Theo. He begins the movie as an incredibly apathetic bureaucrat, feeling nothing about the world around him. However, throughout the film he is shown to be genuinely kindhearted, which distinguishes him from so many post/pre-apocalyptic story protagonists.
- Working with the Ex: When he agrees to help Julian.
Played By: Julianne MooreThe leader of the Fishes and Theo's estranged wife.
- Composite Character: In the book, Theo had an ex-wife named Helena and was contacted by a former student of his named Julian, who is involved with a group of rebels that her husband, Rolf, leads. In the movie, all three roles are taken by Julian.
- Deadpan Snarker: Probably why she and Theo get along.
- Dead Star Walking: Probably the biggest name in the film aside from Michael Caine, but she dies early on to help set the plot in motion.
- Fiery Redhead: Averted. She's rather cool and careful, although she's still a Rebel Leader with big plans.
- Rebel Leader: Of the 'Fishes', a terrorist/rebel group fighting for the right of immigrants.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She dies before the film hits the halfway mark, shot in the neck by Patric.
- Working with the Ex: She needs Theo's cousin's connections to transport Kee.
Played By: Michael CaineTheo's aging hippie friend, a former editorial cartoonist who cares for his catatonic wife.
- Badass Beard: Has a beard.
- Cool Old Guy: A weed-smoking, long-haired ex-hippie and political cartoonist.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: You wouldn't expect an aging hippie stoner to be as brave as he his.
- Defiant to the End: He makes jokes to Luke's face, mocking him even after being shot.
- Erudite Stoner: He's very intelligent.
- Granola Girl: A male example. He grows weed out in his house in the woods.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Stays behind to distract Luke so that Theo, Miriam and Kee can escape. Luke ends up killing him.
- Hippie Parents: Although not biologically related to Theo, the Palmer's can be seen as this. Jasper is an aging Granola Guy, living in the woods naturally with his wife, growing a
newimmensely popular variety of pot that has a strawberry flavor. It is implied that he was left without a choice but to withdraw from society after his wife was tortured by the government. Jasper himself had a career as a famous political cartoonist, which also didn't exactly fly under Britain's new authoritarian regime.
- Nice Guy: Jasper is an all-around awesome person.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: As part of his hippie image, he looks much like an aged John Lennon.
- Odd Friendship: The fact that he knows and trusts a man like Syd is strange.
Played By: Philippa Urquhart
- Empty Shell: She ended up a vegetative in a wheelchair.
- Intrepid Reporter: She was an award winning photojournalist who bravely questioned the British government's actions towards refugees in her reporting before the events of the film. It resulted in her getting tortured by MI-5 and becoming catatonic.
Played By: Clare-Hope AshiteyAn illegal immigrant and the first pregnant woman in eighteen years.
- Action Survivor: Ends up being the only character (aside from the baby) to survive).
- Deadpan Snarker: She's pretty snarky.
- Final Girl: She is the only one surviving the escort mission.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is something of a bitch to Theo at first but quickly warms up to him.
- Hope Bringer: She and her baby are this for the entire world and Theo in particular, as no one has given birth in nearly 20 years.
- Living Macguffin: The entire story is basically driven by the attempts of various characters to save or capture her.
- Meaningful Name: She is the key to humanity's survival.
- Mundane MacGuffin Person: The main characters have to try to keep her (and the baby) alive and out of the wrong hands.
- Pregnant Badass: Her pregnancy is a major plot point.
Played By: Chiwetel EjioforA member of the Fishes and the second-in-command to Julian.
- Alas, Poor Villain: His last scene can make one feel sorry for him.
- Anti-Villain: He genuinely believes he's doing the right thing.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the film.
- Big Bad Friend: He likely would have never tried to kill Theo if he hadn't found out about his plot.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Seemingly one of the more reasonable characters, he actually orchestrated Julian's death.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Mentions near the end that he had a sister who died.
- Faux Affably Evil: Even after the reveal Luke's demeanor doesn't really change.
- Knight Templar: He truly believes he is doing the right thing.
- Reality Ensues: There's no big showdown between Luke and Theo; rather, Luke is blown up by a random soldier during the final battle.
- The Starscream: To Julian. He plotted her demise.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: He is blown up during the firefight with the soldiers immediately after shooting Theo.
- Walking Spoiler: Look at all the spoiler tags.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: As with the rest of the Fishes. They want to eliminate Britain's horrible oppression of refugees. Their solution? Use Kee's newborn baby as a trump card. The Fishes certainly don't object to killing whomever gets in their way including their own leader.
- You Have Failed Me: Threatens Patric with this.
Played By: Pam Ferris
- Granola Girl: Probably why she gets along well with Jasper. She is very spiritual.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Goads the soldiers into taking her off the bus to be executed, rather than having the same happen to Kee.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She dislikes Theo at first but proves herself to be a good person over time.
- The Load: While she means well she generally can't bring herself to do much more than scream and panic when shit gets serious. She redeems herself with her Heroic Sacrifice.
- Ms. Exposition: She drops occasional Info Dumps for us to fill in the blanks about events leading up to the present situation.
- Token Good Teammate: When she learns of Luke's treachery she cannot bring herself to go along with his plans.
Played By: Peter Mullan
- Character Death: Theo smashes his face with a car battery.
- Corrupt Cop: He breaks government protocol by allowing the protagonists to enter Bexhill in exchange for a large amount of Jaspers weed.
- Deadpan Snarker: Probably one of the funnier characters. In a film like this, it's dark humor indeed.
- Establishing Character Moment: When Theo follows Jasper's orders and tells Syd he's a fascist pig, Syd pulls out a baton and pretends like he's going to beat Theo over the head with it as a "joke". Having just met him.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Syd makes a passing mention that he loves his mum, though it doesn't come off as sincere as he thinks it might be.
- Faux Affably Evil: He makes jokes and plays a horrible prank on Theo early on. His idea of what's funny is clearly only funny to him (and the audience). He’s very fun to watch.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Syd is a helpful enough guy at first and seems like he might be a good man at heart, but the reality is that he's a craven opportunist.
- Odd Friendship: Though they never appear onscreen together it's odd that Jasper knows and trusts him, considering Jasper's a Nice Guy and Syd is a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
- Only in It for the Money: Why he betrays Theo.
- Third-Person Person: Refers to himself in such a way."Syd doesn't know why they want to get inside the camps. Syd doesn't want to know. Syd doesn't care."
- Troll: As evidenced in his first encounter with Theo; he plays a terrifyingly sadistic prank on him.
- Violent Glaswegian: Fits this trope to a T after he betrays Theo.Jasper: Make sure you call him a 'fascist pig'.
Played By: Charlie Hunnam
- Ax-Crazy: He's very eager to kill.
- Character Death: During the firefight in Bexhill, he gets shot straight in the heart.
- The Dragon: To Luke.
- Dreadlock Warrior: He sports impressive blond dreadlocks.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: It's set up like there's going to be a climactic fight between Theo and Patric, but he is shot in the heart before that can happen.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He did love his cousin, and is outraged when Theo kills him. See Moral Myopia.
- Hot-Blooded: His default mode seems to be 'psychotically angry'.
- Jerkass: Patric is an aggressive, violent jackass with virtually no intelligence and the impulse control of a toddler.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: It initially seems like Patric will be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold since he is on the side of the good guys... until it's revealed that Luke is evil and Patric is his psychotic dragon.
- Moral Myopia: Patric wants to kill Theo because Theo killed his cousin...who was trying to kill Theo at the time.
- Number Two for Brains: He's impulsive and stupid, never thinking things through.
- Psycho for Hire: It's hard to imagine Patric was hired for anything other than his ability to shoot guns indiscriminately.
- You Have Failed Me: Luke threatens him with this after he massively screws up by coming back to the Fishes' hideout, thus alerting Theo and allowing him to escape with Kee.
Played By: Danny HustonTheo's cousin and a high ranking government official.
- Collector of the Strange: He seems to be collecting pieces of great art to prevent them from being destroyed in country-wide riots and the like. He has Michelangelo's David, for example.
- Grail in the Garbage: His job is to collect pieces of art that run the risk of destruction by angry mobs. He couldn't save Piéta and only barely saved Michaelangelo's David, give or take a leg.
- Nice Guy: Nigel is a pretty fun guy to hang out with.