Andrew Niccol's "In Time"

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Andrew Niccol's "In Time"

Post by Deviss on Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:55 pm

"We're not meant to live forever."

  • Story: Four and a half Stars
  • Acting: Three and a half Stars
  • Directing: Four Stars
  • Visuals: Four Stars
  • Overall: Four Stars

The above quote is something I agree with wholeheartedly. When we're kids we imagine how fantastical it would be to "live forever". But that is when we have the minds and understanding of children. When we're kids... we want to be like Peter Pan... but don't you think good ol' Peter became fed up with it all after a while? As smart as some may be, children can't fully understand what immortality could entail. Watching the ones you love age and eventually die while you stay the same is something I personally would never want to experience. I'll take the time the good Lord has given me and make the most of it.

---

In a dystopian future where people have become genetically engineered to stop aging at 25, but die one year afterwards. Welcome to a world where time is the most precious commodity. It is in this future that Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) and his mother Rachel (Olivia Wilde) are forced to live day-to-day. After his mother's death, and meeting and rescuing Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer), who tells Will the truth about time, Will is determined to set things right. At a party hosted by time-loaning millionaire Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser) Will meets, and later abducts, Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried). The two quickly become the new Bonnie and Clyde; stealing hundreds of thousands of years from Sylvia's father, only to give it to the people who need it most.

I can still remember when I first saw the teaser trailer for this movie. It was a hot July afternoon and my mother and I had taken a close friend of mine and her twin sister out for their birthday. We'd chosen to go and see "Cowboys & Aliens" and it was before the feature film (obviously) that the teaser was played. As "Cowboys & Aliens" began to play, my mind was still focused intently on the idea that "In Time" had presented. What would the future be like if everyone has a limited clock on their arm? How would people use that time? Would they waste it on every last luxury or would they hoard it? Or would the make the most of every last second? Every once and a while, when I'm not bogged down by the day-to-day worries, I'll stare at my left forearm and try to imagine a bright green LED clock ticking away...

Oh and let me apologize beforehand for any inadvertent "time" puns.

Aside from the intriguing idea, the music that was featured in the theatrical trailer for "In Time" also grabbed my attention. "Destiny" by Syntax is a very catchy tune that you should give a listen to sometime soon. The soundtrack for this movie is also very catchy; as if my usual custom, I am listening to it as I type this. Craig Armstrong has done a good job in composing this music. As this movie played out before me, not once was I taken out of the experience. But with a movie such as this, the soundtrack is perhaps the least of peoples' concerns.

I'm sure some of you, if not many, thought the same thing when seeing who was set to star as the primary antagonist, "Justin Timberlake? Really?" The last time I had seen anything of Justin Timberlake, he was dancing and singing with four other guys in a band called 'N Sync. I hadn't seen him in any other movies, so when I sat down to watch "In Time" for the first time I had next to nothing to go on. After having seen it again I can easily say he wasn't as bad as I first thought. Mister Timberlake brings a relative level of believability to the character of Will Salas, but not as much as I personally would've liked. More than once it's said how hard life is in the "ghetto" but we don't see the hardship very often. Just a roving gang of "Minute Men" who steal other people's time and not even very often at that.

As relatively believable as Mister Timberlake was, he should've passed on some of that believability to Amada Seyfried. Having only seen her in the atrocious "Jennifer's Body", which I'm still regretting having seen to this day, I had a smidge less to go on with her than I had with Timberlake. And while she certainly didn't lack for attractiveness, more than enough of her lines came across as unconvincing. Fortunately for her, that didn't happen as often as it could have. There was just enough plausibility in her character to keep me going along with what was happening. Her performance wasn't so egregious that it warranted stopping the movie, it just wasn't at the level it should have been.

The only other performances worth mentioning were those of Olivia Wilde and Cillian Murphy, playing Will's mother and "timekeeper" Raymond Leon respectively. It was Olivia's casting that initially acquired my interest, and she didn't disappoint with what she was given. During a particular scene with her and her son Will, I wasn't expecting to be as moved emotionally as I ended up being. You could feel the desperation for both characters in that moment. Although I would be very interested to see what Will's mother thought of his actions later in the movie...

Cillian Murphy was a bit of a surprise for me. We only see him for a few brief scenes in the theatrical trailer, all of which he is either running or pointing a gun at something or someone. As a "timekeeper", which I'm supposing is some evolved form of law enforcement; his reasoning for chasing Will and Sylvia all across the land is somewhat ill defined. Even when it's explained close to the movie's climax, it isn't given in a way that is believable or fully understandable. I did feel bad for what happened to his character in the end. It gives more credence to the phrase, "Don't waste my time."

Once everything is said and done, "In Time" has a pretty interesting story behind it, with some decent performances to see. If you've got an afternoon to spare, or if you've been interested in seeing it but haven't had the time (HURR) then I'd definitely recommend this movie.

This was a review by tMG, thank you very much for your time.

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