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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Live forever or die trying. Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried star
in the new sci-fi action film "In Time". Will Salas (Timberlake) and
Silvia Weis (Seyfried) live in a futuristic world where time is the
currency. In this world, people stop aging at 25. Once they turn 25,
they only have one year to live, unless they find a way to get more
Will lives in the ghetto where people constantly are timing out (running out of time and dying), while Silvia lives in New Greenwich where people have centuries. It's extremely dangerous to have too much time; those with centuries are usually accused of stealing and are immediately killed.
When Will is accused of murder, he takes Silvia hostage and they run from the timekeeper (Cillian Murphy). Several times, they find themselves cutting it close with only seconds left on their clocks.
The concept is extremely unique and innovative, which made me think it was going to be an "Inception"-type film. However, it was disappointing to see "In Time" fall short of my expectations. It pains me to say this, but Justin Timberlake should not have been chosen for the role of Will Salas. He just can't pull off the character of a tough guy from the ghetto. Amanda Seyfried is decent as Silvia, but she and Timberlake don't have much chemistry.
I also don't think the script was very well written, which causes Timberlake and Seyfried to be even less believable as their characters. In addition, the characters are not developed enough; it's difficult to get a sense of whom these people, from opposite worlds, really are.
I found myself checking my watch multiple times throughout the movie. I was distracted and the movie felt much longer than it actually is. For all of these reasons, I give "In Time" a 6 out of 10. Great idea. Poorly executed.
As others have said, the idea of this movie was excellent. You could
call it a skeptical analogy of what is happening in some parts of the
world the richest people of the planet abusing poor.
What I liked about the movie, especially in the early stages, was how much the movie made me think. It was also bizarre to think of what things would be like if nobody looked older than 25. The movie played upon the possibility of multiple generations would look the same age at least for those rich enough to afford to purchase the additional years. The story was also well thought out in relation to how people would act within the differing classes of society: the rich would take their time and take few risks. The poor would treasure their time, moving quickly, and, with less to lose, would be less risk adverse.
Great premise, great start to the movie, decent follow-through. Although I wish the strong start was able to be carried throughout the movie, I found this movie quite enjoyable to watch.
I'll start straight off the cuff. Niccol is one of my favourite
writer/directors. In fact, one of my favourite films is Gattaca, which
has been so under-rated over the years since its release. To me he's
been a great Sci-Fi writer, so going into this I was hopeful of
something of quality.
Alas, "In Time" is not for the true Sci-Fi thinker. It paints a world in which time is money. That isn't that new an idea, but Niccols does succeed in pushing the metaphor as a commodity. Those with time are rich, those without time are poor. It's a simplistic analogy. As with Niccol's other films, the cinematography is beautiful. The best actors in the film aren't the main characters, rather Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser and (surprisingly) Alex Pettyfer present more interesting characters. They all shine, especially Murphy. The film seems like one long car chase, when what you actually want to delve into are the complexities - the debates between the characters themselves over the issues of the world they live in. Not a single clever conversation happens between anyone. Murphy is a great actor and I would have been interested to see the debate about right and wrong become greyed through some thinking. Life is not black and white. The film ending is unrealistic and I wonder if this was the ending envisioned by Niccol or the ending the producers wanted to boost sales.
Sadly this film could have been a great deal more. It had a good topic. It had some great actors, yet it failed because the story lost the nuances and complexities to meet the lowest common denominator, rather than raising questions or making the viewer think critically. See it, but be prepared to be disappointed. It isn't subtle.
A very unusual film screen-play, well written and shot, don't expect any CGI effects here, this is a very down to Earth sci-fi that bears more than a passing resemblance to our current problem with world banks. Surprisingly Justin Timberlake puts in a very professional performance, and not a song in sight, Timberlake carries the part with a very grounded performance being so laid back that he is almost horizontal. Amanda Seyfried submits a polished performance although her make-up makes her look like one of those Japanese animations of what a European looks like, complete with over-sized eyes. The film holds the attention from the first to the last frame and provokes some emotion from the viewer on several levels. Certainly worth a watch, not quite a Rolex, but much better than a Timex.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The only way In Time could be fully enjoyed is make a drinking game
whenever someone says "time" in the movie. You will be drunk halfway
through the movie and most likely dead at the end of it.
There were two things that made me want to see this movie: 1) The premise sounded interesting. The fact that it's about people living off time, with the rich living forever and the poor living off borrowed time is a rather thought-provoking one. And 2) I like Justin Timberlake. What saddens me is that he just wasn't very good in this movie, as he and the dowey-eyed Amanda Siegfried both just seem so bored throughout the entire movie. They have zero chemistry and I'm even going to say that they are just as bad as Anakin and Padme in Star Wars. That's the lowest bar you can go in the chemistry lab.
Not only did Justin Timberlake seem bored, but he also has a hard time conveying certain emotions. Take the scene where his mother dies in his arms, for instance. Wasn't convinced, Justin. His crying felt forced and it was. After that he vows revenge against all the time people, and risks being chased by the Timekeeper (the always awesome Cillian Murphy), and after he is given a decade worth of time from someone who is tired of living, he meets up with some rich people and kidnaps a rather high Amanda Siegfried and then starts taking time, and giving it to people, you know, like Robin Hood.... except with time. They work together, bored the whole way through, and they try to convey emotions like love.... because if you have a guy and a girl on screen together, you have to make them full in love. That's Hollywood 101 right there!
This is really disappointing to me because I expected better out of In Time. What I got is pretty much a boring movie, with a premise that sounded interesting but then it turns the movie into a one-note-wonder. If I could turn back time, I would have seen Puss In Boots instead.
I had the privilege of watching this movie earlier than most people in
the world because its released early in Malaysia, to profit from
Deepavali public holiday crowd on 26 Oct.
The story is simple. Time is the commodity in the future. But the best part is how the filmmaker show the audience how to use this commodity in normal everyday life. How much time you pay for certain things, where to get extra time, etc. Simply brilliant.
I never cared too much about Timberlake before, but his performance in Social Network caught my attention, and In Time further proves that he can act. The pace can be quite a drag here and there, but its full of suspense all the way, many chase scenes and all.
For those of you who are tired of prequels, sequels, three-quels, superheros, robots, aliens, etc, give In Time a shot, its definitely worth your time. The most original movie this year. 109 minutes is a commodity well-spent.
Looking at this film and its concept I was intrigued. With this said
the film does fail to live up to the potential of its concept. One of
the few major issues i have with this film is the lack of back-story
with regards to the implementation of the 'body clock', along with the
lack of true quality acting and a well written script. As a result of
this what the viewer will get from this film experience are moments
(and i mean moments) where you are enjoying the film, but by the end of
it all you can reflect on what you have seen and notice that you could
have done a lot more with your money if you had not gone to watch In
...What a pity
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Why does Hollywood insist on spending on stars, but not enough on
script? Massive fail, gaping plot holes. You will know what you're in
for when the opening line is "don't know how it happened, it's just
like that". Suspend my disbelief is fine, just don't insult my
*Spoiler begins* Time is the only currency, and once out you get a massive heart attack and die. Transfer of currency is by skin contact and doesn't even need compliance from the owner... Which is called a "fight". This is my most major beef with the script. Even credit cards need verification to process transactions, in this show one can can just touch and take. Gives a whole new meaning to touch of death.
The nonsense continues: I seriously LOLed when the stars "rob" a bank (just crash a car through the front door) and the "villain" Cillian died. He plays a "Time Keeper" but dies by forgetting to watch his time... the mysterious stranger who gives away time also needs no reason to, other than being tired of living.
There was even an oversight somewhere in the middle, whereby JT asks AS for a "loan" only to get rejected though he has but hours to live. He handles rejection by falling asleep only to wake up in the morning (presumably sleeping past his heart attack). Surprised ANYONE in this make-believe world could fall asleep, seeing as you might be death touched in the night... *spoilers end*
If anything, this show taught me the importance of time. Don't make my mistake, do NOT watch this movie.
This is a really cool idea for a film. A day in the future when the
commodity of value is not cash or gold, it is time. Everyone gets to
live to age 25. After that you have one year to live, or less. It all
depends upon whether you use all your time credits or you earn more.
Regardless, if you live to age 100, or longer, your body physically
remains looking twenty five.
On the plus side is Justin Timberlake coming back and showing that his misstep in Bad Teacher (2011) was just one of those embarrassing Hollywood screw ups. Timberlake has real drama and acting talent and is definitely here for the long haul. (Too bad Elvis was never given such chances.) Timberlake gave us a glimpse of his depth last year in The Social Newtwork (2010) , but his talents were not fully developed for Friends with Benefits (2011).
The script starts with the eerie, sobering reminder, and all too familiar words, "We don't have time...we don't have time..." Think if today you had to buy everything with time, instead of bank credit or cash. Coffee costs four minutes. A bus ride costs an hour. A car costs two years. People can give or take time from each other. Just don't run out of time or you will die on the spot. If this were real, would you treasure and spend time more wisely? The real interesting question may be that time really is the currency we live by now, we just fail to see it that way. The simple fact is that you can earn countless piles of cash and gold in this world, but you really cannot buy time. Despite the wealthy in today's world sometimes being able to cheat a few years with better health care, we all are going to die in the same average years.
While the script is the superficial tale of Will Salas (Timberlake) and his Mom (Wilde) trying to pass time in a futuristic world, the messages of the film go far deeper. It is really a tale of class warfare. People who have time, like the mega "eonaire" Phillipe Weis (Katheiser) and his rich daughter Sylvia (Seyfried) and those who constantly struggle to keep time (or run out of it) like the Salas family. Will gets the chance to move up into a better time zone thanks to a man who has just decided that after a hundred years or so, he prefers to "time out." He leaves Will the prophetic warning "Don't waste my time." How Will chooses to spend his time, for himself or for the benefit of all, is now the story.
I really did not mind that the future depicted in this film was not futuristic looking and all the cars were vintage 1970's models with updated lighting and electric sounding motors. It saved a huge budget rather than try to make the world look like it probably will in 2013 or so. And I think the point was that the future is really now.
As an entertaining film, my 7.5 rating is spot on. As a thought provoking experience, I might have given it a 10.0. After seeing this film, you should go out and visit with friends. Your own clock is ticking down. Are you really using it wisely? Unlike the time down clock on the arm of the people in this film, you never know when your time is about up.
This film...it's worth your time.
I went into this one with the lowest expectations, and boy was I wrong.
For one thing, before I saw his name in the opening credits, I had no
idea this was an Andrew Niccol film, and since he is the stylish,
stylized genius who gave us GATTACA, suddenly things were looking up.
Then, wow, this cast! Sure, I knew about Justin Timberlake and Amanda
Seyfried, but check out the rest of them: Olivia Wilde, Cillian Murphy,
THE BIG BANG THEORY's Johnny Galecki, WHITE COLLAR's Matt Bomer and
genre-It Kid, Alex Pettyfer. I mean, come on! How can a movie be
directed by Andrew Niccol AND contain so much of the pretty AND also be
science fiction and NOT be completely, exactly, entirely the kind of
movie that I would love, love, love?
Want to know why my expectations were low? I'd seen a snippet of the trailer -- which just looked to me like a bunch of TRANSFORMERS-style running around the place -- and had read the basic film synopsis sent to me by Fox Studios' publicity department. So what I knew was this:
"Welcome to a world where time has become the ultimate currency. You stop aging at 25, but there's a catch: you're genetically-engineered to live only one more year, unless you can buy your way out of it. The rich "earn" decades at a time (remaining at age 25), becoming essentially immortal, while the rest beg, borrow or steal enough hours to make it through the day. When a man from the wrong side of the tracks is falsely accused of murder, he is forced to go on the run with a beautiful hostage. Living minute to minute, the duo's love becomes a powerful tool in their war against the system."
Why was I hesitant about this premise? Because, come on! How many sci-fi tropes do you want to hit? Predetermined age-limit to combat overpopulation: LOGAN'S RUN, among many others. Being able to effectively purchase immortality: Elizabeth Moon's Familias Regnant series, among many others. Falsely accused and on the run in a future, dystopian society: hello MINORITY REPORT, THE ISLAND and who knows what all else! But you know what? Much like he did in GATTACA, where he took the already well-worn path of the genetically-superior being not necessarily being superior and made it his own, writer/director Niccol brings a freshness, almost a whole new sensibility to these and the other trappings of classic sci-fi he offers up to us here. We also get action, suspense, romance, humor, social commentary, gorgeous visuals and, as I mentioned, bucket loads of the pretty -- I would pay good money to see Matt Bomer and Olivia Wilde in anything; impossibly beautiful doesn't even begin to cover that blessed pair -- and wow, what a thoroughly, unexpectedly fun, truly thought-provoking and utterly engaging time this movie was. I am still flabbergasted at just how much I dug this. I actually broke into spontaneous applause as the credits rolled. And I can't wait to see it again.
But the big question: how was JT? He was, I will have you know, excellent. I have long felt that there was something effortlessly engaging about his whole persona, whether in interviews or on SNL or in roles as diverse as beleaguered rookie cop in EDISON, Napster hipster Sean Parker in THE SOCIAL NETWORK or squirrelly substitute Scott in BAD TEACHER. He doesn't really seem to act: he just IS. Here, he is an unlikely action hero, but somehow, he pulls it off in grand style, looking simultaneously earnest, dangerous and adorable, and easily holding his own even alongside someone the likes of Murphy, whose hypnotic eyes can convey more in one blink of an eyelash than many a lesser actor can get across in an entire soliloquy.
All of the other performances are top notch, particularly from Wilde and Galecki -- who brings most of the funny in the film -- and hey, you know who else is in here! Vincent Kartheiser, AKA Connor from ANGEL! And he's not bad at all, either. In fact, he and Pettyfer are our main bad guys, and both pull of criminal cool pretty damn well.
The long and the short of it? See this film. It's entertaining, it has a message, it is a feast for the eyes, and we definitely need to be encouraging more of this kind of genre filmmaking. True, it's not a truly original piece of work. In fact, in addition to all of the other things it reminds me of, it also brings to mind EQUILIBRIUM -- not so much in its content but in the way that it is essentially a mashup of a whole bunch of established ideas out of speculative fiction, but gives them new life (Equilibrium went with BRAVE NEW WORLD, FAHRENHEIT 451, 1984 -- and also LOGAN'S RUN as its inspirations). But that's okay; I really like EQUILIBRIUM, too.
In doing a little research for this review, I discovered that the ever-litigious SF luminary Harlan Ellison is suing Niccol and various studio-types for plagiarism, given this movie's similarity to his 1965 short story "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman." Having not read the piece in question, I can't comment, but considering Ellison's unrelenting pursuit of copyright infringers, one would think that if Niccol WAS to knowingly steal from anyone, he'd have picked a safer target. After all, most of the ideas in this movie can be found all over Sci-Fi, not to mention in Action, and Drama and Crime, as well.
But sometimes it's not about the provenance of the ideas, it's what you do with them. And here, Niccol has done wonders. (As long as you suspend your disbelief and go with the fact that Timberlake, Seyfried and the rest are, biologically, only 25. Luckily, Hollywood's been conditioning us to do just that for years.)
-- Rachel Hyland, Geek Speak Magazine
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