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Movie Review: In Time

In Time takes place in a distant future (don’t recall if they ever gave a year) where everyone has been genetically engineer to stop aging at age 25.  The catch is that once you turn 25, your ‘clock’ starts running and you have only one year left to live.  It gets even more complicated because now, instead of money, time is the new currency, which can be passed from person-to-person by locking wrists.  Those who have a lot of time are considered ‘rich’ and have a lot more time to live then the ‘poor,’ who are often living day-to-day.  Some of the weather people have centuries of time, and the division of wealth in this future world is staggering.

If this sounds stupid, it’s because it is, kind-of.  It actually could have worked really well if they had a better script, director, and lead actors.  The star, Justin Timberlake, proves here that he has no business starring in an ‘action movie.’  He is not a good actor, despite the fact that he was somehow able to perfectly portray an arrogant, egocentric pretty-boy in The Social Network.  He’s also hit some high marks in comedies like Bad Teacher and SNL, but he is probably best know for his work on The Mickey Mouse Club in the early nineties. 

Timberlake should stick to the Disney roles, because he is out of his element here.  His emotional breakdown (spoiler!) when his mother dies is laughable, almost like he’s trying to be funny.  (BTW, she died because that morning she gave Timberlake an extra 30 minutes of time so he could buy an “extra big lunch”?)  Watching him take out bad guys and try to talk tough is cringe-inducing.  And his romance with the equally laughable Amanda Seigfried (SP?  Who cares) is just embarrassing.  They always pick the worst times to kiss, like when they have 15 seconds to live and should be running to the nearest bank or credit union to fill their ‘clocks’.

One thing that really bugs me about this movie is that they never explained how or why they started this whole way of life.  Who in their right mind would agree to this?  Why would they agree to it?  How did it happen?  When and why did it happen?  In some movies, a ridiculous premise doesn’t need to be explained because the movie is so good that it really doesn’t matter.  Here, an explanation is definitely warranted.

Also, almost every tense situation in this movie could have been resolved if the character had access to a cell phone.  It baffled me that in the year 3,000 (or whatever year it is) they don’t have cell phones, particularly when they could die if they can’t find a friend to loan them some ‘time.’  The characters are constantly down do only seconds to live and didn’t think to call a friend 30 minutes ago to get some help?  Did the government/evil scientists (or whoever is responsible for this bleak future existence) also outlaw cell phones in the future?  Even the super wealthy villain is locked in his office while Timberlake escapes and isn’t able to call security from his office phone.  How is this possible?  He has a million years to live but is too cheap to spring for a phone in his office?

Eventually the movie turns into a Bonnie & Clyde-type bank robbery film, which could have been cool except for the ease at which they’re able to rob bank-after-bank with no security and no issues.  They just drive a truck into the bank, walk right into the open vault, grab all the ‘time’ (yeah, they have banks for time instead of money), and then just walk away with it.  No one chases them, security is not high

The movie is supposed to be making some kind of social statement about the distribution of wealth, how bad capitalism is, etc… etc… whaa, whaa, whaa…  It makes some interesting points I guess, but really, I just couldn’t get over how lame Justin Timberlake looks trying to hurt people.  If this movie had been a musical/comedy, I think he would have been in the right place.

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