Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Time (2011) - February Filmathon Film #10

On the Menu: IN TIME (2011)

Ingredients: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Johnny Galecki, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and Vincent Kartheister. Directed by Andrew Niccol. Run time: 109 minutes. Rated: PG-13.

At First Bite: Looked like a fun sci-fi thriller from the trailer.

Will Salas (Timberlake) lives in a world where everyone stops aging at 25 years old. When that year is up the person dies unless they acquire more time. See, time is also the currency. You work to get time and that time keeps you alive.

Society is split up into Time Zones. The poor joes living hour-by-hour populate the lower zones. The rich, and elderly despite their looks, dwell in the fancy cities of the higher zones.

Will happens upon a butt-load of time, but only wants to bring the system to its knees.

Tough to Swallow: Will's mom (Wilde) celebrates her 50th birthday. Will comments that she'll be celebrating her 25th birthday for the 25th time. It would actually be the 26th celebration.

I wish Leon (Murphy) would have had more character development. He was the most interesting character in the film, to me.

Something to Chew On: Some characters have names of real-life watchmakers: Fortis, Kolber, Girard, Rado, Oris, Breitling, Nomos, Jaeger, Bell, Citizen, Ulysse and Hamilton.

Timberlake, Seyfried, Wilde and Kartheiser also starred together in ALPHA DOG.

Niccol also wrote and produced the film. GATTACA (4 stars), S1M0NE (3.5 stars) and LORD OF WAR (4 stars) are the other films he's both written and directed. 

Aftertaste: The plot is like something out of a Philip K. Dick story, but the film is more on the level of IMPOSTOR or NEXT rather than MINORITY REPORT or BLADE RUNNER. Niccol's film reminds me of LOGAN'S RUN mixed with ROBIN HOOD and a little BONNIE & CLYDE thrown in for good measure.

The concept of time as money is interesting, as is the feeling of immortality based on how "rich" a person is. The class warfare storyline will likely touch a chord with those who follow politics and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Unfortunately, a movie can't succeed on concept alone. The movie is rife with plot holes. I don't quite understand why your "life savings" would be visible to everyone at all times (unless you wear a long-sleeve shirt). Or why it's so easy to just take someone else's life by grabbing his wrist. Or why we need to know about Will's dad. Or why there are so few police. Or why someone's personal security guards don't know one another. Or why rich people with lots of time think they're immortal when someone could simply kill them via gunshot.

It feels like Niccol didn't really know how to flesh out the story. He essentially took his wonderful idea and turned it into a chase movie with little to no resolution.

I like the cleverness of naming characters after watchmakers when your movie revolves around time.

It's an okay movie that could have been much, much better. The relevance of the social commentary is reason enough to take a chance on it.

Tick-tock though. Soon everyone will forget about wealth inequality and be focused on more important issues like birth control and abortion. *rolls eyes*


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