Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton star in the Gattaca-esque "Code 46," a mild sci-fi film that never really offers enough to make it worth the ride. There's a reason why most people have never heard of this movie.
"Code 46" is set in the near future where rules are much more strict. People need documents to travel to certain parts of the world and, due to cloning, having sex with anyone who shares genetic material, no matter how little, is outlawed. Robbins plays William, an insurance investigator who travels to Shanghai to check out a fraud claim. Gifted with enhanced empathy, he quickly learns who the culprit is (Samantha Morton), but instead of turning her in, they engage in a one-night stand. William leaves the next day, but he soon returns to hear that she was found guilty of a Code 46 violation and her memory was erased.
Robbins is okay in the lead, but the script and story are so basic he never really gets going in his role. I never really was able to understand or even sympathize with his character, which made some of his actions hard to swallow. As for Morton, I've never been a big fan of hers, and once again she failed to impress me. Of course, her character isn't all that engaging too, so it's probably not her fault.
While the acting isn't anything special, the main problem is the story, which never has enough to really engage the audience. Had this movie debuted on the Sci-Fi network, it might be considered one of their better films, but since "Code 46" was released in theaters, it really doesn't deserve comparison to other movies in its genre (yes, I know I already compared it to "Gattaca"). Ultimately, the basic concept of the film is interesting, but unlike "Gattaca," it only remains a concept - and lacks a defined plot.
"Code 46" is a movie you can easily skip without losing any sleep over. It's not a poorly made film, but since there's no well-defined story arc, it really doesn't have anything to offer.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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