Code 46

CODE 46. 2004

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Code 46 is a fine film from a fine director, but its deliberate pacing won't please anyone who requires science fiction to be action oriented.

In the near future, the world's language will be English with a smattering of Spanish & Italian thrown in, but each country will keep its own written language for signage & billboards. Genetic engineering is so advanced that a terror of incest between perfect strangers has given rise to international policing of who you can love.

The "kind" punishment for inappropriate love is an alteration of memory & treatment by behavior-modifying viruses so that the citizen can remain part of the bland social order. The "cruel" punishment is to deny the criminally in love passage into urban centers so that they live hard lives "outside," & outsiders tend to cling to the fringes of the barriered cities begging for scraps from whoever is at liberty to come & go.

Amidst this totalitarian blandness, one of the enforcers (Tim Robbins) decides not only to cheat on his wife in a cavalier manner, but to do it with a young 100% genetic duplicate of his mother -- the mother he never knew.

The treatment of this unusual material is rather monotone like the world itself. There are two great central performances that make it all believable. The world itself is unhappily all too credible. The story told amounts to "cerebral science fiction" such as we almost never see from the film industry where the idea of a no-action sci-fi adventure is anathema.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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