10 nov. 2011

My Review: In Time (7/10)

¨For a few immortals to live, many people must die. ¨

In Time is the latest Andrew Niccol sci-fi futuristic flick where people are genetically developed to grow until they`re 25. People don`t age more than that, but the downside is that they are only guaranteed one more year of life. Once they turn 25 a clock starts ticking on their arm with a glowing neon light counting down the days. Time has also become the new currency as people work and are paid with time, and they also buy products with their time (bus ticket fares cost two dollars for example). The premise is a very interesting one as we see rich people living practically immortal lives as they continue to buy and buy more time. They don`t age so  they can be over a hundred years old and still look like a 25 year old. In one scene we are introduced to one of the character`s family and we see his mother, wife, and daughter all lined up looking like they were all recent college graduate friends. On the other hand it has become increasingly difficult for the poor to live past 26 since the cost of life exceeds their earnings so the people in the ghettos don’t have much life expectancy. That is precisely how the rich want things to balance out because according to them ¨for a few immortals to live, many people must die.¨ Niccol, who also directed the 1997 sci-fi film Gattaca (a much stronger film than this one) and wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed The Truman Show, perhaps has made one of his weakest films, but it never fails to entertain nevertheless with its engaging premise. Yes, there are many plot holes and if you dig in too deep some things might not make sense, but nonetheless I had a great time playing along with the premise and receiving the clear social message Niccol`s was trying to lay out.  

Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) has been 25 for three years now managing to survive in the ghetto at a day to day basis along with his mother Rachel (played by the hot Olivia Wilde) who should be fifty, but looks like his girlfriend. Will`s life changes when he runs into Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer), a very wealthy man who apparently has arrived in the wrong neighborhood. Will saves Henry from a group of time thieves led by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer), but he didn`t really want to be saved. Henry tells Will that he is tired of living and that men were never meant to be immortal; his body might be 25 but his mind is old and weary. He gives away his time to Will (over a century) and commits suicide, not before telling Will to use his time wisely. Once Henry is found dead, the police (known as timekeepers) begin to investigate the alleged murder and Will becomes their prime suspect. Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) begins to pursue Will who has now traveled to the best neighborhood (called time zones), New Greenwich. Will doesn`t understand how the time keepers are so interested in investigating a suicide when there are hundreds of deaths everyday in the ghetto that they simply decide to ignore. That is when Will discovers that there is something wrong with the system and it`s time to balance things out. He meets a millionaire banker named Phillip Weis (Vincent Kartheiser) and ends up kidnapping his daughter, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried), in order to escape from the timekeepers.

From this point on the sci-fi flick begins to take a classic Robin Hood-ish turn as Will begins to steal time from the rich and give it to the poor. The action becomes non-stop, although predictable, but it doesn`t mean it becomes less interesting. I really was entertained with this movie and really enjoyed the premise although I recognize its many flaws and see why many people didn`t like it. The futuristic look of the film is also worth a watch considering that Roger Deakins (the best in his field) was in charge of the cinematography and it`s very stylish. The lead performances from Timberlake and Seyfried weren`t among my favorite; I think the best performance comes from Cillian Murphy who is great in his relentless pursuit of the fugitives. He is not the typical villain we see in most action films. The rest of the cast really doesn`t get enough time to show off their talents as they get little screen time. Once the premise is set the movie loses some of its groove, but I was still entertained and had a decent time. This might rank among Niccol`s worst projects, but it still is a fine good movie; although probably not worth watching again.

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