Yeah, okay, but as with all future movies, there are things
they didn't consider, and that's what brings the whole thing down.
Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) is an "in-valid," in other
words, a natural baby not pre-engineered. And people like that
are treated with prejudice and contempt among the "valids,"
and they are only given the janitor jobs at Gattaca, the apparent
descendent of NASA, whose name is cleverly concocted from the
four letters CATG, the beginning letters of the four acids that
make up DNA. (No one explains why else the space agency
would be called this perhaps they are advertising their
ridiculous prejudice.) But Vincent wants to be a spaceman, and
he assumes the identity (complete with daily blood and urine samples)
of one of the "valids" (Jude Law) who had a spinal injury
and was unable to continue his stellar sports career. For some
reason (it can't be money; Ethan has none), this guy is willing
to bleed and urinate into bottles every day to help Ethan with
But what's most irritating is that, as usual, the producers
seem to think that the future will be cold, sterile, and colorless,
filled with Stepford wives (and husbands) engineered for intelligence
and physical stamina. If genetic engineering was the norm, wouldn't
parents want their kids to be artistic, fun-loving, likeable?
If the chance of disease or frailty was removed, wouldn't there
be more fun, more partying, more laughing? It's an interesting
concept, but a dated delivery.
At least in this future world, the space agency is finally getting the funding it needs, launching several rockets a day. Despite its flaws, this is still a fascinating story, and adequate performances by Hawke, Law, and Uma Thurman as Hawke's "valid" girlfriend who still loves him after she finds out he's the future equivalent to white trash. ***½
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