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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rath's Review's: In Time

Now talk about missed potential...

Honestly, In Time could have been a cult classic. It has a remarkably intriguing world that mirrors our current predicaments in more ways than one. For those of you who havent heard anything about the film, it's definitely sci-fi and set in the future. However, in this future, there is no such thing as currency. You pay with time, indicated by the glowing, ominous numbers on your left forearm. A coffee is 4 minutes, a new fancy car is 50 years. Once you turn 25 years old you stop aging and the clock on your arm begins to count down. You can earn time by working, gambling...stealing, and there is a definitive difference between the rich and the poor. When your clock reads all zeroes, you "time out" (aka die).

The film clearly has something going for it right off the bat, and it delves into a lot of the aspects of the problems poised by this system as well. For example, how do you tell how old someone is if they always look 25 years old? One of the first characters we meet has over a decade on his clock and is 104 years old but he looks no older than anyone else. What happens when you have an hour and thirty minutes left and the bus ride costs 2 hours? What happens when too much time is spread from the wealthy to the poor?

The Timekeepers. Yes they do exactly what you think they do. 
The movie has some profound moments that really make you think, and based on the occupy Wall Street crap that is going on today, it certainly plays to the 99%. It starts off strong and keeps you engaged for a while, but quickly loses focus on what it wants to be as a movie and by the end of the movie, the grip In Time  has on you is more of a limp finger-hold than anything.
"J.T....when are you going to come out with a new CD?"
"I...dont...know. I cant look at you right now. You have disgusted me
with your question!"
And the sad part about the movie is that, like I said earlier, it had the potential to be so much more. Based on the early beginnings of the story and the decent script, I feel like the one thing that held this movie back was production budget. With minimal special effects and really not all that much star-power, I could tell this was low-ish budget. Which is a shame because if it had had a higher budget and possibly gone a slightly different direction in the second act, I feel like it could have rivaled Minority Report, or at least have been mentioned in the same sentence as it. But the world is hardly believable. They are supposedly so far in the future, but yet their cars still have wheels and look like 1970's models. They also still use guns with bullets. Its little things like that that I believe would have been corrected with an added CGI budget.

Olivia Wilde is Justin Timberlake's mom in this movie. Bonus points just for that.
Earlier I mentioned the good script. I should explain that. The script explores a lot of issues that come with this payment of time, but it also overstays its "cryptic" welcome. About halfway through the movie, each line of dialogue sounds like it was written by the Riddler. Its as if every line has to have a power to it, and they fail pretty hard. When every line tries to be "memorable", none of them end up being memorable, hence why I cant even think of an example right now. And there are also FAR too many sayings that refer to clocks and time. "Down to the last second." "Im going to clean your clock!" "Watch your time." The list is really endless. Like seriously, if you played a drinking game during this movie that every time someone said a corny phrase about time and/or clocks, someone in your drinking party would probably die.
"Im sorry J.T. I just really wanted to know when we can expect another album!"
"Get off me woman! You have offended me and I can no longer walk next to you so
I shall run!
But overall, the movie is enjoyable and the acting decent. Justin proves he can more than carry a movie, even if some of his more serious lines are unbelievable (I think he is better as a comedic actor). I just cant help but feel let down about the story and the concept. Honestly, now that I think of it, it had the potential to be on an Inception level of awesomeness. Can you imagine if Christopher Nolan got a hold of this movie? I bet the results would be amazing. 

I would ride that hype train until the very last second.

Oh damn it. There I go using those corny phrases. I swear I do that around the clock now.

Thats two drinks.

Pros:
  • The premise is awesome. I would love for a better sequel to explore this world more
  • Has to do with current events and the "99%" (people living with only minutes on their clock) feeling oppressed by the "1%" (people who have millenniums on their clock)
  • The acting for the most part
  • The first half of the movie holds your attention
  • Olivia Wilde. I dont feel as if I have to explain myself on this one...
  • Some pretty intense scenes where character's clocks get down to ticking seconds had me holding my breath
  • At times, the soundtrack
Cons:
  • Can't help but feel that it is a HUGE missed opportunity
  • The action is pretty lame for the most part
  • Cant make up its mind as to whether it is an action movie, Robin Hood movie, or futuristic thriller
  • The amount of corny phrases is amusing at first, annoying later, and hilarious in retrospect
  • The "future" in the movie seems incomplete. Multiple advances in society are evident, but we still drive cars and use phones and shoot guns? I hope not

Rath's Review Score: 6.5/10

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