Code 46
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Year: 2003
TRT: 1:33

"Intelligent" sci-fi in that genetically-altered, Gattaca frame of mind. Haven't seen Gattaca yet? What the hell are you doing? See it already! Or at least wait until I review it here to decide if it's your cup'o'tea, then see this if you like it. Basically it's a fairly dialogue-driven film, a touchy-feely sci-fi drama with a Greek tragedy burn thrown into the mix just to make it chap your ass in the end.

Cities are reserved for the genetically fit, providing a decent lifestyle for all that qualify. The rest is desert-like world full of sun-exposed bordertowns and wastelands, deemed not worthy for living, but only for existence. William (Tim Robbins) is an empathic insurance fraud adjuster, sent out to various cities to track down fraudulent papelles (fancy word for passports) required for city entry. This leads him to an intriguing counterfeiter, who instead of busting falls in love with her. Unfortunately for both, it's in strict violation of Code 46. It's all genetics, believe me.

Fantastic job of making it real through minor futuristic modification, the advances in technology and science are presented as a given. Unfortunately it seems like they downplayed the pace as well. Robbins seems to do his best with the brooding archtype, but here it's laid on a little too thick. And the main love interest played by Samantha Gordon comes off as a bit too dyke-ish with her close-cropped hair and insecurity. Some woman look good with a crew-cut, she don't (I'm trying to think of some examples here, nothing coming to mind, but hey, that's just my personal taste, so fair warning).

Great Scene: Nicely done b-roll of cityscapes and crowd shots that make it seem the near-distant future without crappy CG work that shouts "HEY, I'M THE NEAR-DISTANT FUTURE!" Second would be background filler of a karaoke bar with the aged Mick Jones singing an actual Clash tune.

DVD Notes: Acceptable DVD with a little short included about the film, rest is promotional crap for the studio. Some deleted scenes. Didn't delve in too deep, it's a bit of a sleeper.