Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Time [2011]

Director: Andrew Niccol
Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy ♥, Olivia Wilde ♥, Alex Pettyfer
Genre: Science fiction/Thriller/Romance

Rating: General
Excerpt: "
The movie had a hard time deciding if it wanted to teach us a lesson, serve us a Bonnie & Clyde type of adventure, or if it wanted to be a straightforward thriller..."


In this future, time has literally replaced money as currency, bringing along with it a much harsher form of capitalism where the rich can live forever while the poor struggle to live on a day-to-day basis. The story then shifts its focus to Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), a blue collar worker living in the ghetto, but nevertheless not corrupted by the harsh surroundings he was raised in, which led him to be chosen by a mysterious man from the upper-class to inherit his fortune; a century's worth of time. Now the only man from the ghetto to have a century to live, it threatens the balance of the system they're living under and Salas becomes the most wanted man in the country.

What to Expect
1. Ambiguous tone to the movie
2. Amanda Seyfried skinny dipping
3. A LOT of lessons about not wasting time
4. An onion of a movie (there are layers to the theme)

What NOT to Expect
1. Lord of War [2005]
2. To be too fast-paced
3. Three-dimensional characters
Click on the Mamümeter for more info
Let me just gather my thoughts here so I'll know where to begin. I did post my first impressions about the movie only a few days ago, and it would appear that the movie was exactly like how I thought it's going to turn out. They have a good premise in their hands, and the execution of the idea was not bad although it could have been better.

For starters, I was under the impression that the movie couldn't decide if it wanted to aim at one particular type of audience, or if it wanted to please everyone. That is the only reason I could think of why a movie that has the potential to be really deep and thought-provoking has the likes of Justin "I take out my balls when I need to sing" Timberlake in the lead role; to provide an attractive male lead for the attractive love interest.

But I digress. I wouldn't call the casting anything remotely to 'a mistake' because it left very little to be desired. Justin Timberlake did fine, there's nothing laughable about his performance at all. I swear I'm not being sarcastic this time. What I couldn't appreciate was actually the jarring change in tone between the acts. It started off alluding us to the downside of capitalism, hinting at a movie that's going to be a reminiscent of director Andrew Niccol's previous work, Lord of War [2005].

But then the tone shifts to what appears to be an attempt to turn it into a James Bond-like thriller, but it never really got as intense as a thriller should. Never at any point of the movie did I catch myself gripping the armrest. Well, except for that one brief moment during a car chase sequence. You'll know it when you see it. Finally the movie takes the Bonnie & Clyde route for the final act of the movie and by then I can't help but groan audibly at their indecisiveness.

Now, you might argue that there's no reason why all those elements couldn't work together, and I would agree. But In Time didn't really do it for me. It never really drew me in and all three acts were held together by the interesting premise and our mere curiosity to see it until the end. No doubt, it's possible that it's me who's missing the point, so maybe you could decide for yourself when you go see it?

You'll get to see Amanda Seyfried's curves too...
But as jarring as it all were, the movie didn't get too convoluted and there's practically no chance of you losing track of the story. So yeah, despite sounding like I was dissecting the movie to shreds, I'm not really implying that the movie is not watchable. The thoughts that I put up there were merely my thoughts on how the movie prevented me from fully enjoying the experience.

I still had a great time doing a little bit of analysis about the theme and wondered who was the real bad guy in the movie. Sure, there were gangsters, corrupt law enforcers and evil wealthy people. But the real villain in the movie was actually the capitalist system they're all living under. Whoever came up with it really took the Darwinian theory of "survival of the fittest" to heart the same way Adolf Hitler obsessed over the works of Friedrich Nietzsche.

There will be something in it for you if you choose to look at it that way, although it's going to be a bit of a fill-in-the-blanks sort of an exercise. Not so hidden is the lesson about not wasting time, for which the movie didn't hold anything back, even going as far as including it in almost every exchange between the characters. So you know, it was like an onion, there are multiple layers for you to peel, although this onion won't make you cry.

Add all that up, I'd say that In Time wasn't a bad movie to spend your time on (Get it? Get it?). There are good action sequences, a love story with the appropriate amount of sweetness, moral values and all of the other things that will make it worth your ten bucks. But if you're expecting a movie that will rise above the genre, then you'd best look elsewhere because as entertaining as it was, you wouldn't remember this movie when you're trying to decide what are some of the best movies of 2011.


ripgal said...

Agree with you. Took everything out of my mouth.

I enjoyed the film, tho it could have used a lil bit more depth. Had the film delved deeper into the concept of "using/wasting time" and capitalism instead of shoving onto our faces some random romance between the leads (which like happened out of nowhere? - Hollywood style lah!)and some IMO "pretentious" scenes of Will trying to save the world blah blah, my viewing experience would have been a better one.

Acting was decent, but they should have fully utilised Alex Pettyfer! arrrhhh... *hot bod fan service? haha*

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