Tuesday 1 November 2011

249: Review - In Time

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

In Time poster

In Time
1st November 2011. Location: Cinema

In Time is the third cinema-film I've seen this year that stars JustinTimberlake. That statistic would be worrying if it wasn't also the fifth that's starred Olivia Wilde…

A futuristic action-thriller where time is the currency of mankind, and Will Salas (Timberlake) is living day-to-day in the ghetto where most people wake up without enough on the clock to see them 'til the evening. Basic commodities cost precious minutes and life is a balancing act for those struggling through it. On the other side of this, and several time-zones away, society's elite have more time than they could ever want, and live in opulent disregard for the unfortunates. Crime is rife in the ghetto, but through a chance encounter with a philanthropist, Salas is set on a course to try and seize justice, and time, for all…

The Good: Timberlake's on fairly good form here, as is Olivia Wilde. The script, plot and pacing are all clear enough. Despite it seeming like an outlandish concept, it works quite well in context. None of the characters are completely believable, but given the scenario of the film, they're not going to be. Generally speaking, it's respectable performances all round.

The Bad: Yeah, it's a pretty heavy-handed metaphor for capitalism, and feels a little overdone in the first half-hour or so. I expected it to get quite preachy in the final act, about 'not wasting the time you have', but surprisingly they've eased off on that. As a result, though, the ending seems a little limp; and things more or less slot into place for the characters, one way or another, and it all seems a little easy.
Another downside is that in this undisclosed future-Earth (set at least 100 years after our time, but probably more), humans are genetically modified to stop ageing at 25 when their 'clock' kicks in and they have to buy time to survive. So, you just cast a bunch of 25yr olds, right? Well, for the most part it works fairly well, but it doesn't explain how Timekeeper Leon (Cillian Murphy) looks about 40 (especially as Murphy's actually 35). On the flip side of this, when you have Vincent Kartheiser playing a 25yr old-looking man who's aged over 100, and he puts on the pomp and concern that befits his character, it feels a little like a sci-fi Bugsy Malone. It's not a biggie, but it doesn't quite add up.
And lastly (I promise), there's a partially-revealed backstory about Will's father, that concerns Leon. Some details are discussed and more are hinted at, but we never get a complete picture. Cut for time?

The Ugly: Alex Pettyfer, trying to channel his best 'Ray Winstone' as a ruthless but well-spoken ghetto gangster. Sadly, he has neither the presence or the gravitas to do this. Frankly, it's a bit embarrassing.

All-in-All: Despite my moaning, there, it's very enjoyable. Although I feel they could have done more with it, given an extra half an hour and a more adventurous plot.

See if you liked: The Adjustment Bureau, Source Code.


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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