In a futuristic society where commerce has overridden more humanistic concerns, the rich and successful, eager to obtain physical and mental perfection, have taken to genetically engineering their off-spring. Such lab-created babies are… More In a futuristic society where commerce has overridden more humanistic concerns, the rich and successful, eager to obtain physical and mental perfection, have taken to genetically engineering their off-spring. Such lab-created babies are known as Valids, while those conceived in the normal, loving fashion are In-Valids and are considered second-class citizens at best -- especially if they have birth defects. Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is an In-Valid while his brother Anton (Loren Dean) is a Valid. The former brother is short, sickly, and bespectacled, while the latter brother is handsome, healthy and born to succeed. But though Anton seems close to perfection, he lacks the emotional flaws, passion, determination, desire and faith that motivate Vincent, whose strongest desire is to become a space navigator for the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation and travel on an upcoming mission to the moons of Saturn. Unfortunately, his birth status and a heart defect, relegate him to menial jobs. Unwilling to abandon hope, Vincent determinedly visits DNA broker German (Tony Shalhoub) who is able to create false identities for similar In-Valids. It is not an easy transformation but eventually Vincent -- who thanks to the genetic contributions of paralyzed Valid Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), becomes Jerome while the wheel-chair bound donor becomes Eugene -- finally enters Gattaca for training. There he encounters a beautiful Valid pilot, Irene (Uma Thurman) whose defective heart prevents her from flying. Irene's plight is a fate she passively accepts whereas Vincent is willing to oppose and fight for what he wants. Meanwhile, an increasingly complex relationship evolves between Vincent/Jerome and Jerome/Eugene. Set in an oppressive, bureaucratic and chillingly plausible early-21st-century world, Andrew Niccol's sci-fi thriller differs from others in its focus on a morally ambiguous world and on characters rather than gizmos, technobabble and special effects.
Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.