Gattaca

Not Perfect, But Very Good

Main Cast: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Jude Law

Director: Andrew Niccol

Taking “designer genetics” to the next logical step, this sci-fi/thriller chronicles the goal of an “imperfect” man trying to live in a “perfect” world.

We follow Vincent (Hawke), who works at Gattaca, the launching off point for space missions. His dream from birth is to be on one of those flights. Unfortunately, he is an “imperfect”, a baby born out of love and not the test tube. Therefore, he has imperfections in his genes. His brother does not suffer those indignities, having been born the “proper” way.

Vincent meets Jerome (Law) through a shady doctor. Jerome is a “perfect”, but suffered an accident and thus is willing to sell himself over to another. He provides blood and urine, as well as fingerprint plastic covers, to Vincent in exchange for a place to live. And perhaps the satisfaction of living vicariously through another.

The film jumps into overdrive when a murder is committed and somehow Vincent is suspected, although ironically in his “imperfect” state and not as “Jerome”. The chase is on: will the cops, led by a detective (Arkin), figure out that Vincent is not who he may seem? Vincent only needs to elude them until launch time. Then he is off to Titan, and as he points out, “somewhat out of their jurisdiction”.

This is a taunt, well-crafted thriller. It veers sometimes into improbability, with supporting characters in just the right places at just the right times to help, but overall it works, and works well. It has a message, but speaks it softly. And the acting is top notch. This one is definitely worth your time.

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