Sunday, February 12, 2012
Written and Directed by Andrew Niccol
Starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy
Henry Hamilton: For a few to be immortal, many must die.
Depending on how you see it on any given day or what side of the bed you got up on, time is either on your side or running out. For some, all they’ve got is time on their hands, while for others, time is the enemy. There are a number of time cliches one can reference to sum up a number of situations and all of them seem to culminate within Andrew Niccol’s IN TIME, a science-fiction thriller that could have used a little more time in the oven itself.
IN TIME is interesting enough but that isn’t really enough to make it worth something. At some indeterminate time in the near-ish future, the world has figured out how to stop the aging process. At 25, you’re done and a clock starts on your left forearm that, like any good wrist watch, keeps perfect time for you. Only this watch doesn’t keep you on schedule; this watch is a constant reminder as to how many days or hours or minutes you have left on this planet. Everyone gets a year when they turn 25. It is then up to you to keep finding ways to replenish that time so that you don’t suddenly time out. Like I said, it is interesting enough in theory but in execution, IN TIME is nothing more than a vehicle to continue establishing Timberlake as a thing, thinly veiled as a high concept morality tale.
Time is therefore currency and IN TIME wastes no time with subtlety in demonstrating how there will always be have’s and always have not’s, no matter what our current currency is. After kidnapping the daughter (Amanda Seyfried) of the apparent richest man (read, most immortal man) in the world, the twosome naturally fall for each other in their quest to better the planet and equal the playing field. They begin robbing her parents’ banks and giving the time back to those who desperately need it. Suddenly, Niccol doesn’t seem to know what kind of movie he’s making anymore. Is it sci-fi? Is it a heist movie? Is it Robin Hood? Whatever it is, it is only half entertaining, half of the time and Timberlake only has half the gravitas required to carry this film. In the end, I highly doubt that IN TIME will be able to stand the one test it needed to pass and I don’t think I need to even say what that is at this point.