In Time review

Director:
Andrew Niccol
Cast:
Justin Timberlake
Manda Seyfried
Cillian Murphy
Vincent Kartheiser
Rated: PG-13

“In Time” is definitely not a film that’s so good you have to show up on time at the theater to see.

The movie is a bout a young man named Will Salas (Timberlake) who lives in a world where everyone is suppose to live until they are just 25. However, they can stay alive longer by working for more time, however the only problem is that time is also the currency, and if you run out of time, shown a person’s arm, then you die. The problem in this world is that the rich have all the time and the poor have next to nothing.

Will is in the position of the latter. He finds the world to be cruel and harsh, especially more so after his mother dies. A short time after this event, he meets a man with 100 years of time and after saving him the man gives Will all of it. After this, Will decides to shake up the system by going up against the ‘Time Keepers’ especially a very dedicated one named Raymond (Murphy), and a wealthy corporate man Phillipe, (Kartheiser). In doing so he also kidnaps and eventually teams up with Phillipe’s daughter Sylvia (Seyfried).

“In Time” does have an interesting concept, but the story’s execution leads to problems.  The film tries to do too many things that have been seen before in other sci fi pictures. There are ideas taken from other films like “Logan’s Run” and “Metropolis,” and even from film’s that aren’t sci fi like “James Bond” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” The tropes are presented here in a messy mash of genres.

The result is a film that goes in so many directions that it felt like it didn’t know what it wanted to do next. The better thing to have done would be to just go along one plot path and stick with it.  This was so all over the map that it never felt consistent and was hard to stay engaged. Plus, the whole time as currency thing had some holes to it.

I didn’t find the characters to be all that great. I never saw Justin Timberlake as this young kid from the streets who wants to fight the system, especially since when he gets into a casino he seems to just fit in well with all the wealthy people. The same can be said about when he suddenly knows how to drive like an action star, even though there has been no indication that he’s ever owned a car. It just seemed to me that Timberlake was playing a generic action star, instead of the gritty punk who he would likely be from living in the neighborhood he grew up in.

The other characters aren’t much better. This could easily be a future where there is just a big divide between rich and poor, since many of the people who have been alive for more than 100 years don’t really act like it.

Amanda Seyfried in the film basically put in a performance similar to a Bond girl and her character’s romance with Will never has any chemistry to build off. The special agent Raymond, though, who is chasing after them was probably the best part of the film with Cillian Murphy turning in an fair performance.

As I said, the movie takes a lot from other films, this includes fights and car chases we’ve seen before.

There is also arm wrestling in the movie where people fight each other for time. However, this was a let down. The characters talk about “fighting” each other and I thought it was some kind of underground fist fighting for time, however it was just arm wrestling. And to make it worse, in the big climactic “fight,” we basically know already how it’s going to end because of another scene in the film.

As I said before, they were just trying to do to many things and put in all these ideas we’ve seen before into one movie. But it doesn’t work. This probably could have been a better movie with a more simple plot, but, it fails on most levels. At the very least, though, it is entertaining at times. It’s just not going to be remembered as anything more then a simple action movie. This one scrapes by at a low 2 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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