From the opening sequence, something is clearly amiss: I mean, extreme close-ups of exfoliated skin and toenail clippings, anyone?
Thereafter, things do not improve.
First off, the sci-fi premise is flimsy (it's a rap on the genetically programmed to be perfect humans vs. "human" humans debate: where "human" humans have become "invalid" citizens, electronically tagged and shut out mainstream society of perfectly engineered "valid" humans. But, you would think, if there is sufficient technology to eradicate human flaws at conception, then surely someone must clever enough to fix them later in life too, no?).
The special effects team (who, in fairness, didn't have much to do other than the aforementioned toenail clipping close-ups and the odd distant rocket launch) seem to have missed the last 35 years in development of special effects.
The brother vs. brother thread is schmaltz (the whole relationship can be summed up, apparently, by who was the better swimmer when they were boys), ... Good grief.
What else... oh yes, the lack of chemistry between Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke beggars belief (Thurman looks continually as if the very sight of Hawke gives her the screaming heebie jeebies), and the thriller/whodunnit piece does not import a sense of drama into the proceedings. And boy does the film need it.
The only saving grace is Jude Law, who seems to make his living these days propping up dreadful films with solid performances (see A.I. and The Road To Perdition in this regard), and who at the critical moment in the film, performs a very deft ascent of a spiral staircase without using his legs.
That is to be commended, however bad the rest of the experience.
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