Gattaca: Special Edition Andrew Niccol

Gattaca: Special Edition Andrew Niccol
After 11 years, without any touch-ups or extraneous footage, Gattaca still holds up as one of science fiction’s finest moments in recent times. With a premise that easily could have dated it, Niccol took a relatively premature look at genetic engineering and turned it into a stylish thriller that engages until its last breath. In an undetermined future where humans are judged by their "validity” (read: genetically pre-ordered by their parents), naturally born Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is resolute about flying into space. Aware of his shortcomings, he abandons his life and seeks a new one as a "valid,” borrowing the identity of the near-perfect Jerome (Jude Law). With Jerome’s help (lodging, urine and blood), Vincent finds himself riding high at the Gattaca Aerospace institute, becoming involved with semi-engineered Irene (Uma Thurman) and moving closer to his goal. However, just days before his launch, Gattaca’s director is murdered and one of Vincent’s "invalid” hairs is found at the scene, threatening not only his dream but also his freedom. The precognition at work is eerily well done, eschewing the obvious futuristic look for something much more classic, mixing technology with the motifs and Hitchcockian twists of 50 years ago. And Michael Nyman’s emotive score is unforgettably poignant, single-handedly giving Vincent’s painstaking attempt to live his dream maximum impact. The extras are a little suspect, reusing a Jurassic, ten-year-old menu and an equally dated featurette. Two new ones are tacked on to make this "special.” The first is a nostalgic look back that includes new interviews with stars Hawke and Law, who was an unknown at the time, as well as producer Danny DeVito. The most amusing titbit comes in the reveal that at the time of the film’s theatrical release producers placed teaser ads under the guise of Gattaca (the company) offering "children made to order” — and yes, thousands of people did call the number. The second is a passable educational mini-doc on genetic engineering. The deleted scenes are interesting, especially the montage of famous innovators who all had their debilitating flaws, confirming the film’s message that perfect isn’t necessarily better, considering that genetic engineering would not have given us the dyslexic genius of Albert Einstein. (Sony)