“In Time” – Film Review

Justin Timberlake

It had such promise. In Time is based on the idea that in a future world, time is the currency. Fair enough. To be honest, a lot of me was excited to see it.

But it started poorly, and failed to pick its game up throughout the film. The issue with the opening was that it was far too rushed; before you even have time to start eating popcorn, Justin Timberlake (The Social Network, Friends With Benefits) has gone from a poor man living day to day (literally) to one of the richest guys in town. How did that happen? Where did he get all that time? Oh, someone gave it to him.

I suspect that the mere fact that Justin Timberlake is even in this role will have put many of you off in the first place, however that would be a hasty judgement to make. As we saw in the thoroughly entertaining movie The Social Network, Justin can act, and he hasn’t wavered in this feature either. There is even a rather touching scene displaying how well Timberlake can portray grief.

To be fair, it’s not any of the cast that let the team down here, in fact Cillian Murphy (Inception) is as strong as ever playing the brooding officer Raymond Leon. It was really that the story didn’t flow well at all, despite the interesting concept. It was all too easy. For example, the way they transfer time (which is supposed to be the lifeblood of the world and highly valuable) between one another is merely by performing a dodgy roman handshake, with the recipient’s hand underneath the generous donator. This gives the impression that swapping seconds of your own life with someone is just that easy. It is even suggested that people grapple with one another in this crazy handshake, attempting to steal time from their opponent. That’s all well and good, but does it mean that the gym-loving members of society are strutting the street with a stolen thousand years in their bank?

When you sit further through the film it is much of the same: not too bad, but could be a lot better. After Justin has lucked into over one hundred years of time, we see him use his noticeably unexplained (and unrealistically expert) skills in poker to win himself the worth of several thousand years. With that kind of skill and intelligence, you start to wonder why this character was ever in the gutter in the first place.

Every scene in this movie just seems to clumsily run into the next, making for fairly difficult viewing. Not enough was done. It was poorly put together, and there wasn’t an adequate enough examination of how exactly having time as a currency would affect the world. Having said that, the underlying concept and decent acting make it a not too unpleasant film experience. I wouldn’t recommend shelling out for the cinema to go and see it, but when it comes out on DVD it may well be worth a watch. They could have done so much more though.

 

5/10

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