November 8, 2011

Movie Review: In Time

Over the years I have found Andrew Niccol to be an interesting filmmaker. He is a writer/director with big ideas and an interesting vision. He looks at a variety of issues through a science fiction prism and comes up with unique ways of telling them in narrative form. Now, the problems generally arise in his execution. For the most part they come out good, but they can sometimes leave me as a viewer wanting. His best executed film as a director is probably Gattaca. That brings us to his latest creation, In Time.

Here is a movie with interesting ideas that would seem to mirror our world, thematically, but is executed in a sloppy fashion. Basically, In Time is best taken as an idea generator, a theme builder, more than a complete world into itself. If you start thinking about some of he specifics of the plot machinations, not to mention the logistics of the genetic engineering aspects, or it's supposed setting of the "near future," it all comes crumbling down like a house of cards. Still, I found it to be an interesting film, engrossing even if you allow yourself into it.

In Time presents us with a world where time is currency. The concept of money has faded away and time has stepped into the void as a way of being paid and paying for things. Genetic engineering has stepped in and everyone stops aging at 25, at which point your clock kicks in and you have one year left, unless they can earn, borrow, or steal more. In this world the poor die young and the rich can live forever. All time is tacked via a handle digital readout on our left arm.

It is in this world that we meet Will Salas (Justin Timberlake). He lives in one of the poor zones where people pretty much live day to day. Well, he isn't happy with his lot in life, but does not see much opportunity to change it. Fate steps in and changes it for him, when a rich man, claiming to be over a hundred years old with centuries left on his clock , decides he wants to do die and goes Will all of his time. What would you do with it? Will says he won't waste it.

Will takes to the streets and upgrades himself to the rich people district. The problem is that he also picked up a Timekeeper, a cop of the future, named Raymond (Cillian Murphy). He is responsible for keeping time in the right hands and he is determined to get Will's time back on the right (read rich) side. To further compound things, Will doesn't really know who is going after.

The plot takes the next step when he falls in with a rich crowd and meets Sylvia Weis. The two end up on the run and this helps point Will in the right direction. Focused he now knows the direction to head. They set out to upset the system and get time back in the hands of the people. In a way it is similar to the movements going on now, those stepping up to take back control from the rich.

In Time looks at our society and the lines between the classes, how people interact with each other based on how well off we think they are. I liked the movie, quite a bit. I am not the brightest bulb in the box and often only see the surface of a story and I am sure that is happening here. I know there are correlations to our society, but will probably need more time to see them.

I do think this filmed society is a little odd and hard to understand the intricacies as they don't really jump right out at me. Still, it is a fun movie, even if the universe is a little odd. The biggest flaw with the film would have to be Justin Timberlake. I don't hate the guy but he just seems over matched and does not have a lot of chemistry with anyone. The rest of the cast is solid.Amanda Seyfried has this odd, alien amazement thing that I liked. Cillian Murphy always turns in good work and his determination here is admirable, although I don't think he looks 25.

Will everyone like this? I don't know. What I do know is that has some nice writing and is shot quite well. It is not one that will unseat Gattaca from the top of Andrew Niccol's filmography. I say give it a shot.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment