← Back to Reviews
Gattaca Review:

Something really surprised me right when the opening credits started rolling: I've seen this before! I had to watch it in science class when I was in 11th grade I think? I barely remembered it but when I turned it on and it started playing a long-dormant memory suddenly sprang forth. I only remembered just a handful of scenes and lines. I said earlier that I watched a scene of it on TV not too long ago but I didn't remember that scene at all. The opening credits though made me remember almost instantly.

Anyways, on to the movie! Something that I did like about the movie was the music, the score in the opening credits made an impression on me, and the score in the rest of the movie was very good as well. It was a good contrast to the futuristic setting presented throughout.

The set pieces were good and gave the sci-fi element a very industrial feel. There are no flying cars, laser guns, or any flashy gadgets but a bunch of machines that have to do with genetic engineering. Ones that determine whether you are genetically superior or a "de-gene-erate" that is unfit for any of the higher end jobs.

Which takes me to the story, which follows Vincent Freeman (played by Ethan Hawke) who was "naturally born" which meant that he is prone to many health issues that babies who are genetically born are immune to. Freeman dreams of going into space, but his health issues keep him from ever being able to pursue a career in space exploration, especially the fact that he is predicted to only have a 30-year lifespan. The movie follows Freeman's journey as he infiltrates the Gatacca space program by posing as another person named Jerome Morrow (played by Jude Law) who is genetically "valid" for the job but suffered an accident oversees that left him paralyzed.

As I watched it howeverI started to realize why I had forgotten about ever seeing it. The story is very slow-paced and things seem to unfold very slowly. My younger self would not have appreciated a movie like this. I'm still not a huge fan of the beginning, which covers Vincent's upbringing, especially the sibling rivalry between Vincent and his "genetically superior" younger brother Anton. I found myself just not caring much for Vincent, and it wasn't until he actually got to Gattaca that it picked up for me.

At Gatacca is where Irene Cassini (played by Uma Thurman) comes in, who's Vincent's co-worker and love interest. Thurman does a good enough job in this, but her character never seems to have a huge purpose besides just being the love interest of Vincent, so there doesn't seem to be much else to say about her performance.

Surprisingly for me, Jude Law's character Jerome Morrow was my favorite in the movie. It's surprising for me because there's been a few movies that Jude Law played in where I didn't like him at all. Playing the disgruntled, wheelchair-bound, former swimming star that Vincent takes the name and genetics of worked well for me though. Jerome is a sympathetic character who also delivers the few comedic-relief lines within the movie.

The big twist the movie has is when, while Vincent is posing as Jerome and is well on his way of getting on board a space mission, the director of the mission is suddenly found murdered. What makes things worse for Vincent is that they caught some of his DNA near the scene which tells the police that an "invalid" is among them and is the leading suspect in the director's murder.

The rest of the movie is about Vincent trying to dodge the police while simultaneously trying to protect his identity until he can fulfill his dream of finally traveling into space.

This to me is more of an artsy science fiction film, telling more of an intellectual story than one with space battles or robots or aliens. It tells more about technological advances and how it could affect society in the "not-too-distant future" as the movie puts it. I can definitely see why some people are big fans of this movie. It is pretty unique among sci-fi films and offers something different.

This type of movie isn't really up my alley, like I said earlier it's very slow-paced and there's not much excitement to it. After seeing it and thinking about it a bit more though, I do have an appreciation for it and the interesting world and style it created. Big thanks to Yoda for picking this out! This one definitely deserves a watch, cause I feel that there are many members here that will appreciate this style of movie.