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As one of the last "natural" beings born into a genetically engineered world, Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has none of the "pre-ordered" DNA that will guarantee him success. Desperate to realize his dream of exploring space, Vincent assumes the identity of a genetically superior athlete's genetic markers, Vincent becomes a rising star at Gattaca Aerospace, attracting the attention of a stunning co-worker (Uma Thurman). But when a flight director is brutally murdered, a clue left at the crime scene threatens to shatter Vincent's plans in this riveting sci-fi classic.
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Gattaca is a tale of genetic engineering. It isn't about those who are genetically engineered, rather about one person who wasn't. Vincent Freeman, played by Ethan Hawke, is a natural born person. A "God Child" as they say in the film. All he desires in life is to travel to space, but is aware that it will be impossible due to the fact that he was naturally born, and therefore has vision and heart problems. He later finds Jerome Morrow, played by Jude Law, and uses his DNA to fool the system. Eventually, he does make it to space.
This film contains plenty of twists and turns. There are numerous times when you expect Vincent to be caught, but somehow he manages. This is not a movie filled with action, but contains an in depth, gripping story instead. I recommend this movie to sci-fi, thriller, and drama fans alike. There is enough of a love story that my girlfriend enjoyed it, but not so much that it took over the story.
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This is not typical sci-fi fare. Indeed, there is virtually no sci-fi action in it at all--it is all character-driven, with strong acting all around. Director Andrew Niccol gives us a compelling story of human achievement. The movie wrestles with the ethical implications of genetic modification, but it also shows that the spirit of man cannot be altered in the same way. There is no gene for courage and determination. You either have them or you don't.
Parental Advisory: The movie is rated PG-13 for brief violence, some language and some sexuality. There are two scenes of implied intimacy between unmarried individuals, as well as three scenes involving obscured male nudity. Characters smoke and drink. A man nearly drowns twice. A character commits suicide (mostly off camera).
The blu-ray transfer is good, both audio and visual--not the best I have ever seen, but perfectly funcational for this type of movie. If you already have the DVD, it is a judgment call about whether you should upgrade or not. If you really like this movie, then go for it. Otherwise, the DVD will work just fine.
I recommend Gattaca as an interesting piece of speculation about where we might be going as a society, and the ethical implications associated with genetic modification. If you are looking for something a little more high tech and action-oriented, like The Island [Blu-ray], then you will be disappointed. This is more of a thinking person's film.
It's more intellectual rather than action, with some talented actors. We saw this in the movie
theater once upon a time, and loved it then. Good plot, good script, intrigue. A little post-modern
in the settings and background. Inspiring message with a satisfying ending.
Best performances by Jude Law and Uma Therman. Alan Arkin too.