In Time Film Review
In Time (12A)
Release date: Friday November 4
Cast: Justin Timberlake (Friends With Benefits, The Social Network), Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia, Mean Girls), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, 28 Days Later).
Director: Andrew Niccol (Lord of War, GATTACA)
Screenwriter: Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show, S1m0ne),
Running Time: 109 mins
After being not at all prescient with his one decent script, The Truman Show, - isn't it amazing how we all live on TV now?! - Andrew 'Cowardly Regurgitated World' Niccol is back with a film so of its time its like staring out of your own window man! You see the main crux of In Time is that there are these rich people yeah, and they're like being all mean and stuff to the poor people and the poor people are all standing up for themselves yeah! We're the 99% mother funsters!
Do you hear that #Occupy people? The Hollywood Elite are on your side! You can pack up the tents now. Job done.
In a not too distant – or original – future the human race is engineered to stop ageing at 25. Or 30. Or 35. Depending on which actor is on-screen. To live any longer people have to earn their lifespan by doing manual labour or becoming prostitutes. Rather unfairly though, the rich have figured out a way to live forever. They do this by being rich. It's up to factory worker Justin Timberlake, we'll repeat that and give it a second to sink in, factory worker Justin Timberlake...to administer some quantitative easing...by way of the gun!
Let's get one thing straight: Justin Timberlake is now a movie star. He's just not yet an actor. But thanks to some 'Daniel Radcliffe Editing' – namely cutting away to long shots when real thespian work is required – you wouldn't really notice. His performance merely grinds rather than grates. The Social Network gave him enough credibility to jump up to main protagonist but, as with Friends With Benefits, the boy needs to work out his acting muscles before he can think about carrying a film again. It must also be noted he looks very, very silly when he runs. And he runs a lot.
This star/actor divide doesn't stop at JT. Apart from Cillian Murphy, as The Most Stubborn Cop In The World TM, every face on-screen is cast for their naturally pretty face rather than what they can do with it. Yes Olivia Wilde we're looking at you. The worst offender by a country mile, however, is Alex Pettyfer who delivers such an abhorrent performance as a cockney thug that he may have given Rosie Huntington-Whiteley reason to have faith in her acting skills again. It's really, really that bad.
It doesn't help that each adorable mouth hole is made to spout such obvious crapola for dialogue that you'll be able to finish any character's sentence from word one. Screenwriter and director Andrew Niccol seems to have decided that coming up with a half decent idea for a film -although another more than a little lifted lifted from his wannabe boyfriend Aldous Huxley- was enough, decreeing “Mission Accomplished” at the 25 word pitch.
He wasn't even half way there. It's almost as if someone had a clock on him.
To quote Cameron Crowe's depiction of Lester Bangs, In Time is a “think piece”. It's just any thought process will be interrupted by some shoddy dialogue, appalling acting and muddling of tone. Yet despite its myriad of flaws In Time is occasionally passable entertainment. Thus proving the old proverb that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.