Reviews

Gattaca Special Edition

4

Underrated, understated and gleaming with chilly intelligence, Andrew Niccols’ directing debut is a dystopian drama set in a future where scientists design genetically perfect babies, leaving naturally born ‘in-valids’ as the underclass. Enter Vincent (Ethan Hawke) – an ‘in-valid’ who dreams of joining the Gattaca Corps space-navigation programme. To do it, he buys the identity (hair, blood and urine) of genetic superman Jerome Morrow ( Jude Law). When a brutal murder knocks Gattaca’s world out of kilter, Niccol clicks up the suspense as Hawke frantically covers his genetic trail.

Niccol never quite gets to the thematic meat behind his elegant surfaces, but there’s so much to admire. More than the cold romance with Uma Thurman’s glacial corporate drone, it’s the relationship between Hawke and Law that gives Gattaca such a fascinating, repressed charge.

Ten years on, Niccol’s debut again chimes loudly in a 21st Century obsessed with physical perfectionism, which is all the more reason to lament that there’s no director’s chat-track on this one-disc Special Edition. Instead we get a mixed bag: six choppable deleted scenes, two featurettes (one new and chatty, the other old and pointless) and a 15-minute squint into the world of genetic engineering. Top of the pile? A very funny outtake from the urine-sample room. Talk about a piss-take…

 

Film Details