Sci-Fi films aren’t a complex entity. All you need is the right mixture of science & fiction and your film will not fail. I wish this recipe for success were true for IN TIME, the new sci-fi thriller starring Justin Timberlake.
In a future where no one grows old, humanity is genetically engineered to stop aging after the age of 25. However, no one is immortal because at the age of 25 a thirteen digit “time-piece” appears on your left arm. At that moment your time starts. If that clock ever gets to zero, you timeout…you die. Imagine a world where the rich can live for hundreds, even thousands of years because they come from time, the same way our silver spoons come from money. This is a world where the poor literally live day to day earning time like minimum wage because time is money, literally. Today a cup of coffee will cost you 3 minutes; tomorrow it could cost you 4. When you live in a society where time is of the essence then a 1 minute increase in the cost of living could be your life.
IN TIME lacked the grandeur and momentum in screenplay ability that any great film has to keep its audience’s attention unraveled and undivided. In layman’s terms, I was bored out of my mind. Timberlake plays Will Salas, a factory worker who’s just living minute to minute like everyone else in his time zone. Then enters Henry Hamilton, played by Mathew Bomer, who ever so timelessly gives Will over 100 years, a reward he felt Will deserved for trying to save his life from the local gangsters. That’s when the adventure was supposed to begin. However, what happened was a Bonnie and Clyde symmetry, with the help of the beautiful Amanda Seyfried, that left me wondering how films like these ever get the time of day. This movie is the prime example of how a phenomenally original idea can become mediocre if executed poorly. I felt that the movie dragged along, trying its best to intrigue the audience with its unique concept but lost originality shortly after the opening credits.
One thing is certain, Timberlake has arrived. With previous works that have done well and being paired up strategically with the sensational Seyfried, Timberlake proved that his acting prowess and rugged bad-boy-look comes across well for the former N’SYNC singer. So, this I promise you, Timberlake is here to stay.
Nonetheless, the only thing worse than a bad film is a film that was just above par, a film that has the potential to be great but arrives late or not all. Director Andrew Niccol did such an amazing job on THE TRUMAN SHOW and GATTACA, and though IN TIME had the same originality, it ran out of time on impact and impression.
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