I’ve started many more works of fiction that I have finished and sometimes you just have to know when to say when. If it isn’t working them just shelve it for a while and then come back to it later, right? Also, I’m all in for weird coincidences. Now, the last time we gathered here for a movie review, Olivia Wilde was in the cast, and lo! Here she is again. The name of the movie is “In Time” and it stars Justin Timberlake along with Wilde, and oh no, now it’s getting goofy, because there is also Amanda Seyfried along for the ride and all three of them were in a movie titled “Alpha Dog”.
Considering that in “Alpha Dog” Wilde plays Timberlake’s lover and in “In Time” she plays his mother, well, damn, you see where this has some oddness before the opening credits, don’t you? Bringing these three together again is a distraction the movie doesn’t need.
The premise of the movie is everyone on earth has so much time left to live, but can buy, steal, or be given more time. Time is a currency and you use up your time in life to get things like food and bus passes. When your time runs out you die. Everyone is frozen at twenty-five years old so no one grows old but there are those rich enough to live forever, at the expense of course, of those with less time. It’s a classic class warfare with a timely twist and there is nothing wrong with the plot.
Oddly, Timerlake isn’t half bad. Wilde has a bit part and she is wasted in it, but there is real chemistry between Timberlake and Seyfried and they do a good job of selling their characters. Cillian Murphy plays an interesting yet undeveloped character, as does Vincent Kartheiser. But the story is more or less carried by Timberlake and Seyfried, and carried better than I expected, until about an hour before the movie ended. It is as if the writers got to a certain point and then had no idea what to do next, and that is just about where Timberlake and Seyfried begin to falter.
The sad thing about this all is the movie was looking good for about an hour. The plot has some interesting twists. There was the class warfare thing and the dialog is filled with such gems as “gotta minute?” which suddenly means a lot more when time is literally the money everyone uses to live. The concept of everyone on earth being twenty-five or younger is an odd but intriguing treat. A man one hundred and five years old looks twenty-five. A woman celebrates being twenty-five for the twenty-fifth time on her fiftieth birthday. Time is stolen, wasted, and borrowed, but this time, no pun intended, it is real.
“In Time” won’t satisfy an action movie buff’s need for action, and it won’t serve up as good science fiction and it lacks enough drama to be a dramatic film and it just doesn’t carve out its own territory. While not a waste of time, “In Time” doesn’t isn’t worth the time it takes to drive downtown to see it. Rent it and enjoy your time.
In Time (2011) – PG-13
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit