Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: In Time

In Time is the latest entry into the well used bad future sci-fi, more specifically the kind where the aspect that makes this future bad is being used as a metaphor for some current problem. In this future everyone stops aging at 25 and at that point the time you have left is currency. Hence the poor mostly have just enough for the rest of their day and the rich have enough to live for thousands of years.

If that sounds like it has a blunt anti-capitalism message coming, well give yourself a cookie. Justin Timberlake has the lead as a poor man with Strong Moral Fiber (trademark) who lucks into over a century in time and uses his skills at gambling and charming to push his way into high society. While there he meets the rebellious daughter (Amanda Seyfried) of a local billionaire and together they start a Robin Hood-esque crime spree.

Okay so the movie has Something To Say (trademark) about the evils of unrestricted capitalism, but that's really not too irritating when you actually watch the film, although it might be more so if you have a problem with it's message. One of the things that works about it is, despite having a rather blatant message, it manages to deliver said message without ever feeling preachy, a trait it shares with the director's last film, the SPECTACULAR, but underwatched Lord of War. So once you've removed the risk of failing due to message mongering, it's up to the movie itself to hold itself up.

And on that note, the news is good. 2 of the director's last films were the aforementioned Lord of War and another underwatched classic Gattica and while he's not doing as good a job as he did in those two, he does a solid enough job that the movie works in all the ways it needs to. The screenplay is solid, nothing Oscar Worthy (trademark) but a good piece of work that seems far more interested in seeing how the world works then in wondering how it could be fixed.

The actors are all turning in good performances. Justin Timberlake is a solid action hero, once again proving that we should all get over him being in N'Sync (though we are contractually obligated to hate the other former members more). Cillian Murphy does a great devoted cop as villain bit, proving once again how under used he is. Amanda Seyfried is a little more disappointing as The Girl (trademark), but she does what she can with the admittedly light material. Of course part of the fun of a universe where everyone stops aging at 25 is that everyone gets to be cast as a gorgeous mid-20's actor, something which the movie takes full advantage of (Olivia Wilde plays Timberlake's 50 year old mother, which sounds like a Freudian nightmare).

If there are letdowns, it's in the 3rd act, when the slightly breezy storyline starts to take its toll. A couple of character turns seem to come out of nowhere, a running subplot concerning Timberlake's father sorta fizzles out and a large part of the last bit of action hinges on a number of deus ex machinas. But as I said, when it works it works, and this one mostly works. So I'm going to call it recommended. It's not perfect, but so few things are and if you don't want to go see an Oscar Movie (trademark), this is definitely the one in theaters for you right now.

Elessar is a 21 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he's calling Olivia Wilde in this movie the ultimate MILF.

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