In Time (2011) – Review

2 Stars


In Time has a great premise, a handful of good scenes, and an effective production design yet it still manages to be a let down. Director and writer Andrew Niccol, who fared so well with Gattica, disappoints with this sci-fi tale set in the future. Time is the new currency in this era and the population is genetically altered to stop aging at 25 years old. After that point you must work to gain time which in turn extends life spans. As I had stated, it is a fantastic premise. However, this film quickly loses momentum and becomes deathly slow for what at times is a rudimentary chase film. Niccol has fashioned his tale into an obvious parable to today’s economic troubles and the unbalanced relationships among the 99% and the 1%.

Typically science fiction is an oft-used forum for social commentary, the Star Trek series was built on this foundation. In Time is too unfocused to be effective. The plot is illogical, the editing is choppy and the direction is crude. The characters and casting do not work at all. Everyone is supposed to look a quarter of a century old yet some appear to be in their mid-30’s or older. Timberlake is not a heavy enough screen presence to carry the picture and Amanda Seyfried’s character simply exists to provide him with a romance. The most appealing character is Cillian Murphy’s patrolman, known as a ‘timekeeper’, who is chasing after Timberlake for the majority of the film.

In Time is chock full of narrow escapes, but most of the action is too dull and misdirected to be effective even as fantasy. Also of note is one of the worst uses of CGI I’ve seen in a theatrical release since the 1990’s. The film ends on an upbeat note but the whole enterprise feels shallow and unsatisfying.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy

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