To put it simply, Code 46 is my kind of science fiction. Directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton, it’s sci-fi that puts ideas over CGI bombast that tells a romantic story set in a future of restrictive laws and extremely controlled genetic manipulation.
Code 46 is atmospheric as all get out and is a bit on the slow side (something I enjoy) as the story itself isn’t all that gripping—the film is more nuance than thrilling adventure. I don’t mind that, as I like seeing the future portrayed in realistic ways without shootouts with high-tech weaponry.
The film shows the future as it might be in our lifetime—society is rigidly controlled; people either live in cities of neon and glass or are shunted into empty desert wastelands; DNA is monitored so completely that who you sleep with, marry or have kids with is administered by government law; people take a “virus” to know a language, become psychics or learn something; languages have become global with people using English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese as they speak; it’s a future of architecture and design that varies wildly between those who have and those that do not.
Despite some clunky narration from Morton, Code 46 is an interesting reality-based future that we might see in our lifetimes. Forget flying cars or jetting off to Mars or that kind of sci-fi, this is sci-fi that is attainable, as it’s much like the world we live in, only buried in the technological future that we careen toward as a culture and planet.