© Tiberius Film/Filmwelt

Code 46
U.K. 2003

Opening 3 Mar 2005

Directed by: Michael Winterbottom
Writing credits: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Principal actors: Tim Robbins, Togo Igawa, Nabil Elouhabi, Samantha Morton

In this science fiction disaster private detective William Geld (Tim Robbins) flies to Shanghai from Seattle to research a case. He falls in love with his main suspect, Maria Gonzales (Samantha Morton). Sex between couples of like DNA (in other words: incest) is a sin, although they have no inkling of common blood lines. That’s the main story. Thrown in for good measure are: Geld is infected with intuition virus and can tell people facts about themselves that they thought only their mothers knew. A memory-killing drug eradicates segments which might make life uncomfortable. The A-species humans inhabit the best parts of the world and travelling from one part to the next requires a papelle or visa. Everyone else scrounges a living in the worst areas or tries to get through the borders, much like immigrants today. Spanish words are interspersed throughout the text as if Spanglish will be the future norm. In the end, Geld returns to his wife and child after his memory has been cleansed; Maria camps in no-man’s land with all the dirty beggars. Only Dubai and Shanghai, filmed on location to look like Futureland, make the film worthwhile. Otherwise, Michael Winterbottom must have been struggling with some kind of virus himself to have directed something so disjointed and inexplicable. I don’t know any excuse for Tim Robbins having participated in the mess. (Becky Tan)

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