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Time's Running Out
In Time (DVD)
Member Name: cazkins
In Time (DVD)
Advantages: Interesting concept, reasonable cast/acting, entertaining to watch
Disadvantages: Nothing overly amazing, a tad cheesey
In Time was directed, and written, by Andrew Niccol, who has worked on several films including Gattaca, The Truman Show and Lord Of War, so his knowledge and expertise was put to work here. I'd say the film falls within the sci-fi action genre as it's quite detached from reality. We're introduced to a new way of life, a new world pretty much, where the currency is life rather than money. To buy and sell things you exchange seconds, minutes, hours, days or years of your life, as measured by a digital wristband. Once you reach 25 you will stop aging (imagine that, the anti-wrinkle companies will go out of business!) but the clock starts ticking down from 1 year, so you could potentially die very quickly, or, if you're born in to riches or get rich quick, you could live a very long time.
Intro Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), a man from a more working class side of the tracks who gets wrapped up in something far more complex than he could have imagined when he's falsely accused of murder. He receives a donation of many, many years but with this comes the penalty of having the Time police on his back hunting him down. He escapes to see the higher class side of life and comes across a beautiful young woman born in to 'money', Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried). But he's not for the likes of her and when those around him, including Sylvia and her 'rich' father, find out he has been charged with murder, he has little option but to make a run for it. Knowing he needs some form of ammunition, he takes Sylvia as his 'hostage', though they both have more in common than first appearances.
Neither are happy with the way the world works, with the rich hoarding years of life and the rich struggling day to day and dying looking for just a few extra minutes. The question is, will these genetically-engineered lives make it to their ultimate goal, and do they even know what that is? Can they really do anything to change it, or will time run out before they can escape?
I thought the plot was quite creative and interesting, both in terms of its originality and its sense of hidden morals. There was just enough suspense built up to keep you wondering what would happen next and how things would eventually pan out which made it more engrossing to watch from start to finish. Part of this was thanks to the cast as they made it more enjoyable and warm, made it easier to empathise and to feel engaged by what was happening. The protagonist was played well by Timberlake, which I actually found quite surprising. Okay, he wasn't amazing and is unlikely to win awards, but he was believable enough and didn't come across as either too wooden or too singer-turned-actor for my liking. Taking second lead, Sylvia was played equally well by Amanda, and their on-the-run relationship was reasonably entertaining to watch without being sickly sweet. In fact, it could have been far more clichéd than it was, though I'm still not a huge fan of happy ever afters or mushy falling-in-love within a day plots. Fortunately, the main focus was on action and the futuristic plot at heart, rather than on romance, which was a positive in my opinion. Other cast included Cillian Murphy (Raymond Leon, aka the Timekeeper), Olivia Wilde (Will's mum) and Johnny Galecki (Borel, he's the guy from Big Bang Theory but he has a minimal role), all of which added a bit more credibility and sense of higher quality to the flick.
The scenes were well done and yet not too over the top in terms of their futuristicness, making it easier to watch with a slightly greater sense of realism. It felt like a decent amount of time and effort went in to creating the sequences, the script, casting, effects etc so it ended up with an overall well-rounded and good quality feel to it. It didn't feel overly Hollywood either, admittedly it might have done in parts where it seemed a tad cheesy and not as dark and gritty as it could have been, but it could definitely have been worse.
The film flowed well with a consistent pace so it kept my attention quite well throughout. I didn't necessarily think all aspects of the plot were water-tight, however, so you do need to just 'go with it' and perhaps not look too deeply in to the nitty gritty. I did like the more moral aspects of the film and the underlying tones, including things along the line of the value of life, the distribution of wealth, class divides and the importance of those closest to you. This helped to give the film a more three dimensional aspect and made it more intelligent against the backdrop of a sci-fi action thriller sequence.
The notion of this type of reality was interesting, though I do think some aspects of the film could have been done better in terms of it being a bit darker, more gritty, more demanding of attention. Having said that, it was still enjoyable enough to watch even if I wouldn't rush to watch it again. Don't expect anything mind-blowing, and it's a bit of enjoyable nonsense that may get you thinking.
Extras on the DVD include 6 deleted and extended scenes
DVD released 2012, rated Certificate 12.
Selling on Amazon for £11.99
Summary: Worth a watch & better than I had expected