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In a fascinating first act, Niccol walks us through a future where money has long been superseded by time as mankind’s currency of choice.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