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In Time (DVD)
Member Name: Jojoborne
In Time (DVD)
Advantages: Entertaining. Timberlake puts in a good performance.
Disadvantages: Holes in plot and umph factor could have been better.
In time is a movie that was written, produced and Directed by Andrew Niccol. I had heard of it last year but it only came to my attention again last week when a friend asked me if I could get hold of it for him. It stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy and runs for one hour and forty-nine minutes. It was released to cinemas in October 2011 in the United States and a week later Worldwide. The DVD hit the shelves in January 2012. The movie is a fantasy based science fiction story and has a plot that would see it neatly holed in to the thriller genre as well. It is fast paced and entertaining and well worth a watch. A lot of people would cringe at the thought of watching Timberlake in a lead role but I think he is an emerging actor and plays this part really well, regardless of what some of the reviewers with obvious jealousy driven egos might say. More about that later in the review; for now let's take a look at the plot.
Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives in a world where humans are genetically manufactured to live up to the age of twenty-five. Once a person hits twenty-five they receive a luminous implanted clock on their left forearm. This clock only lasts for a year and then they die. In order to live longer they have to replenish the clock with time credits. They do this by going to work where they are paid in time or by pawning items or taking out a time line. If a person's clock reaches zero, they die. Will lives day to day with his clock running to its last thirty minutes on most days. The government are making everything more and more expensive in order to cull the population; if everyone lived forever the earth would soon become over-crowded. The problem with this system, at least from Will's point of view is that the rich people can live for hundreds of years while the poorer are dying off in their droves. One example is Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser), the father of Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), a fat-cat who sits pretty in his mansion with heavy guards with thousands of years on his clock and a million in a vault. Salas rescues a man in a bar who is buying everyone drinks. The man has one hundred and sixteen years on his clock. Will knows that time thieves and people in this rough neighbourhood will do anything to get at the man's time. Will helps him escape and they hole up in a derelict building.
The following morning, the man transfers all but five minutes of his clock to Will while he sleeps and after leaving Will a message proceeds to sit on the edge of a bridge until his clock runs out. Will runs towards the bridge after spotting him but his efforts are in vain. He is caught on camera looking over the bridge at the dead body.Will rushes home to meet his Mother at their usual place but she doesn't turn up to devastating consequences. The police are called time-keepers and Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) is convinced that Will has stolen the other man's time. What begins is a deadly game of cat and mouse and a determination to break the system. The only problem is does Will have enough time to make a difference.
In Time had the potential to be a Sci-fi classic but ended up being a run-of-the-mill affair that is entertaining none-the-less. Niccol's vision and concept is brilliant but he didn't quite manage to pull off the complete package. I don't mean to be unfair to all the hard work he has obviously put into this movie but I am merely being honest. I enjoyed the movie and it got me thinking so that is a plus but it just fails with the wow-factor.Justin Timberlake is brilliant as Will Salas and his character is believable. In the opening scene where he gets out of bed with no top on I thought 'here we go' but thankfully the movie centres on his acting skills and his charisma rather than his body.
Amanda Seyfried plays well alongside him but her character is not as defined as Timberlake's and therefore not as involving or believable but she still does a great job and I liked her. She has that strange looking quality about her that reminds me a little of Christina Ricci.
Cillian Murphy is as brilliant and chilling as ever and plays the part of Raymond Leon to perfection. The Murphy, what you see is what you get and you will never see him blag his way through a role.
The movie is beautifully shot and cinematographer Roger Deakins certainly knows what he is doing. The movie often has that apocalyptic feel to it as the cool greys of day turn into the orange duskiness of evening and it all adds to the urgency of the plot. Niccol has got the pacing right for sure and keeps it flashing along nicely. I just wish he could've gone into the corruption at the top level a little more and given a little more history of how it all began to bolster the plot and story.
The concept, as I mentioned, is a really good one. It's not new by any stretch of the imagination and harps back to TV series of old such as 'Logan's Run' to mention one of the better known series. It could also be looked upon as a futuristic or fantasy based play on Robin Hood. The idea of having your time biologically ticking away on your arm is quite a frightening concept. Imagine having nineteen hours left and it costs two hours to get to work on the bus and two hours back. An hour for a coffee and an hour and a half for lunch and that's not to mention your bills. There are moments in the movie where Will's time is almost out and it makes for an exciting ride of how the hell he is going to get more time or if indeed he is. Of course we all know that he will but it is an exciting story-line all the same.I think we just have to hope that something like this never happens, and it is plausible that it could, because the world would be a crazy place. People would be robbed of their time and life in every nook, cranny and corner of the globe. For that reason, the movie is a good demonstration of human nature and what we do to survive. Indeed, the movie does read like an experiment or test at times and is quite frightening when you allow yourself to become involved.
The direction and acting in the movie is top notch but it just comes up short of being really memorable and considered as a top notch movie. I really did enjoy it though, and I can safely say that it is not a dud. The acting saves the plot in a way and it gets through on the concept and likeability of the characters. I just wish that Niccol had added a little more padding as in this case it would've given the viewer the background they needed. Maybe he didn't want to ruin the fast pace of the movie or the continuity, but to be honest, by rushing through it he has managed the very thing he tried to avoid, which leaves the movie struggling to move on at some points. Some of the holes in the plot seem to be over-ridden by the fast pace at times and for Niccol's sake it at least works to a certain extent.There are some flaws in the continuity and there are some bad decisions made by characters but I have never been one to criticise this as directors and writers work very hard and one of my pet hates is the 'That wouldn't happen in real life' line that so often pops out of people's mouths and usually people who don't know what they are talking about. All I can say to that is that movies and books are mostly fiction; fiction, you know that thing that we create using our imagination in order to have people do what they normally wouldn't do in real life. How boring movies would be if people just did what we all do every day.
It is definitely a movie for a Sunday afternoon and is good enough and entertaining enough to be recommended. Timberlake can be safe in the knowledge that he will get more roles on the back of this and rightly so. I think he deserves a lot of credit for his performance and I for one prefer to see him doing this rather than prancing around like a chicken and sounding like an old Sega Mario game.
The DVD is available at all good stores and online stockists and if you shop around you can find it for a really good price. The original release contains about 12 minutes of extras including deleted scenes and theatrical trailers. The Blue-Ray version contains featurettes, making of and cast interviews.
Summary: A world where money has ceased to exist and time is the only currency and a way of survival.