← Back to Reviews


Director: Andrew Niccol

Writer: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Length: 1h 46min

Synopsis: A man born through 'natural means' is considered to be genetically inferior to those who are enhanced at birth. He dreams of going into space but society only allows him menial jobs. So he assumes the identity of a genetically superior man in order to pursue his dreams. And in doing so has committed a crime.

Uma Thurman sure looks good in this film. But what's really impressive is how her (and the other characters) are handled by the director. She's coldly dispassionate and emotional controlled. All the genetically superior employees of Gattaca are like that.

That photo I used really conveys well the 'perfect world' of those who have superior genes...they're almost dehumanized by their superior conformity. And that's just what the corporations want.

The director plays on this perfect genes-equals cold as ice theme with other character pairings:

Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is the natural born child, who's full of spirit but with crummy health...In contrast is his genetically superior manufactured brother Anton, who's icy.

With the two police investigators pairing, there's: Alan Arkin who's eluded to being a natural born child, full of personality but not as bright as his younger but superior partner, who's got the personality of an machine.

is an awesome film and one of the best examples of existential Sci-Fi. The director expertly down plays any sci fi elements in the film, which gives it credibility. The cars are old models, the clothing is sedate, there's no high tech CG props...in fact the film starts off by saying it's set in the very near future.

The sets were stunningly reserved elegance, done in a mid century modern retro look. Damn beautiful. I can't think of another film that makes such striking sets. I loved the choice of the old Studebaker Avanti cars and other classic car models. And one of the best looking refrigerators I've seen in a movie is the one in Vincent's parents house. The vastness and use of negative space in Jerome's apartment is way cool! What a great looking film.

I thought Ethan Hawke was excellent. The huge amount of effort that he was willing to undertake so that he could go on a space missions, said a lot about the human need to overcome obstacles. And that's what the film is really about.

Jude Lawe as his counter balance was a perfect metaphor for having it all and being miserable. He too did a great job in this.