Wast­ing pre­cious time

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

YOU would not say In Time blows all chance of de­liv­er­ing upon its im­mense po­ten­tial.

Nev­er­the­less, there are scenes where the movie is con­spic­u­ously fum­bling and fudg­ing its way through.

For­giv­ing view­ers ca­pa­ble of look­ing past these wonky short­com­ings are sure to like what they see – if only be­cause of the orig­i­nal and un­con­ven­tional vi­sion of writer- di­rec­tor An­drew Nic­col.

In a fas­ci­nat­ing first act, Nic­col walks us through a fu­ture where money has long been su­per­seded by time as mankind’s currency of choice.

To re­main alive be­yond 25, peo­ple must earn, save and spend time. Wages are paid in days of added longevity. If you have bills to ser­vice or prod­ucts to buy, you barter with min­utes and hours off the end of your life.

A cof­fee will cost you 20 min­utes, for ex­am­ple, while a car will set you back sev­eral months.

This is heady stuff to be deal­ing with in a ma­jor main­stream mo­tion pic­ture, and it does a fine job of lay­ing out the ground rules gov­ern­ing this brave new world. If only the story told here was as brave and new as well.

Justin Tim­ber­lake plays Will, a time­poor dude who lucks into a 100- year pay- out af­ter a rich dude de­cides he’s had enough of liv­ing.

Hav­ing re­cently lost his mother ( Olivia Wilde) be­cause she ac­ci­den­tally ran out of time, Will de­cides to burn through his for­tune at a posh haven for the time- rich.

Af­ter win­ning more than a mil­len­nium in a casino, Will at­tracts the at­ten­tion of what passes for po­lice in this world, the Time Keep­ers ( led by Cil­lian Mur­phy).

Also tak­ing an in­ter­est in Will’s where­abouts is a band of fu­tur­is­tic, time- thiev­ing gang­sters known as Minute Men ( the bad­dest be­ing I Am­num­ber Four ’ s Alex Pet­tyfer).

But for all of its many mer­its in es­tab­lish­ing a novel and strange view of the fu­ture, In Time is let down by plot­ting rooted well in the past.

By the time Will has hooked up with a sexy so­cialite ( Amanda Seyfried, pic­tured with Tim­ber­lake) to rob some time banks as a sci- fi Bon­nie and Clyde, the movie seems to al­most lose in­ter­est in it­self.

Af­ter teas­ing us with big state­ments about im­mor­tal life and how we all waste so much pre­cious time, it is dis­ap­point­ing to see Nic­col’s ideas shrink down to noth­ing but gun fights and car chases.

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