Gattaca (1997) starring Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Tony Shalhoub, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal, Xander Berkeley, Elizabeth Dennehy, Blair Underwood directed by Andrew Niccol Movie Review

Gattaca (1997)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Ethan Hawke as Vincent Freeman in Gattaca

Science Fiction or Science Fact

Starring Jude Law, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke "Gattaca" is one of the most ingenious and thought provoking movies that I have watched in a long time. In our world, where cloning and genetic engineering is becoming a huge realisation and the subject of numerous debates, you have to ask the question, what would happen if we lived in a world of genetically enhanced people. "Gattaca" shows us one possibility, where the prejudice is no longer colour or age, but whether you are genetically enhanced to be perfect. With such a provocative subject, "Gattaca" does well to show both sides of the story and to remain impartial on whether genetic engineering is a good or a bad thing.

In the 21st century, genetic engineers make it possible for the creation of biologically superior humans "valids", who then grow to positions of power. Would-be astronaut Vincent (Ethan Hawke - Alive) born the old-fashioned, natural way, can only hope for a janitorial position at the elite "Gattaca" Corporation. That is until he buys the blood, urine, and identity of a perfect but paralyzed athlete. But a murder at the company attracts the attention of a detective who threatens to discover Vincent's secret.

Uma Thurman as Irene Cassini in Gattaca

In "Gattaca" there are 3 main characters first of which is Vincent played by Ethan Hawke, who does an excellent job of showing his determination to beat the system, but also the fear and stress of having to pretend to be someone else. The next character is Jerome played by Jude Law. Jude does a good job of showing the bitterness in the character but then the compassion as he realises how important the dream is to Vincent. Finally there is the character of Irene played by Uma Thurman. Her character is the love interest for Vincent. I may be missing something, but I believe the character of Irene does not have any real relevance to the story, other than to put a woman in a movie which is predominantly male. There are some notable names within the supporting cast, which include Alan Arkin, Ernest Borgnine, Tony Shalhoub. All the supporting characters are well acted and help to keep the movie moving.

Making his directional debut with "Gattaca" is Andrew Niccol who went on to write and produce "The Truman Show". For a directorial debut, Niccol has done a very good job of dealing with the thought provocative material which is the basis of "Gattaca". He has done well to capture what a genetically enhanced world could possibly feel like as well as questioning the ethics of it without being to dictorial. He has not over complicated the movie with over the top settings and weird camera angles; the simplicity of his direction makes "Gattaca" work.

The score to "Gattaca" is pretty unmemorable. Not a bad thing, as the sounds of strings can be heard but they never detract from the scene, then again, the score does absolutely nothing to enhance the movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Gattaca" is a very good movie which I feel will become more popular as the world of genetics becomes more common place. It raises up some very good question on the ethics of genetics and gives us its own answer. The movie has been well made and well acted, although the acting is not up to Oscar standard. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes movies that pose serious ethical questions. If you enjoyed Minority Report there is a very good chance you would enjoy this although this is not made to the big budget of Minority Report.