I still don’t know how I feel about Justin Timberlake as an actor. He was excellent in Alpha Dog but pretty below average in everything else. Here, he’s just good enough but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes you need a good performance to push the movie forward. And some people will wince at the very mention of Justin’s involvement, especially if they’re science fiction fans. I think this tells you a lot about the idea behind this movie. So, In Time is a big, commercial, and mildly entertaining science fiction movie.
You have two choices before you: suspend belief, look past the plot holes, and kill ninety minutes, or just skip this one if you know you won’t be able to do that. Even then I suggest you give it a chance as you never know how it might hit you. After all, the cast includes Cillian Murphy, Amanda Seyfried, and Olivia Wilde, so it’s not all bad. Additionally, Cillian is wearing a lot of leather here, something his fans will surely appreciate. We find ourselves in a futuristic world where, instead of money, the main currency is the rest of the time you have to live. Hence the title of this movie, In Time.
You’ll have to admit that the idea isn’t half-bad and that in the right hands, this might’ve been a classic. Writer and director Andrew Niccol already explored some of these issues in his nineties sleeper hit GATTACA. I feel like he’s got all these great concepts but what’s missing is the classic movie structure. You know the one with “The Plan” and “The Villain” and all the other familiar elements that make the movie feel like a real movie. If you’re going the commercial path that is. Moon is a perfect example of an excellent and original science fiction movie.
Welcome to the world of tomorrow! Humans now live very different lives than they did in the past. Once they’re 25 years old, they stop aging and become practically immortal. There’s just one catch. Once you do turn 25, the government gives you a free year and a timer. And once that timer reaches zero you die instantly. So, you have to literally earn your life. In this twisted world, we find Will Salas, a factory worker who’s about to run into huge problems when he saves a man with a deathwish…
Despite the $40 million budget, In Time’s world still looks a bit underwhelming. I’ve seen B movies featuring more fleshed-out bars, hotels, cities, and yes, characters. Their motivations and reasoning are quite superficial like they’re only there to push the story forward. Like these characters do not exist outside the realm of this movie. And what can I say, I’m tired of this concept of a guy and a girl on the run. Can we get something else now, please? Finally, if you’re looking for movies like In Time, I suggest you check out Cronenberg’s ExistenZ.