Welcome to a world where time has become the ultimate currency. You stop aging at 25, but there’s a catch: you’re genetically-engineered to live only one more year, unless you can buy your way out of it. The rich “earn” decades at a time (remaining at age 25), becoming essentially immortal, while the rest beg, borrow or steal enough hours to make it through the day. When a man from the wrong side of the tracks is falsely accused of murder, he is forced to go on the run with a beautiful hostage. Living minute to minute, the duo’s love becomes a powerful tool in their war against the system.
Writer and director Andrew Niccol has worked on some interesting projects throughout his career, with films such as ‘Gattaca’, ‘The Truman Show’, and ‘Lord of War’ in his filmography it’s reasonable to expect any project he is attached to whether it be writer, director or both would be worth a look.
His latest film ‘In Time’, brings his vision of a dystopian future where time is traded like currency to the big screen. The film is centred on interesting concepts such as the notion of trading time, what it might mean to become immortal, and how the powerful elite might control the many, however ultimately it fails to capitalise on this in any interesting or compelling way.
The story of ‘In Time’, never manages to settle in terms of what direction it wishes to move in, the film opens and delivers some intriguing ideas, then moving along to some of the potentially more compelling aspects of the film however it quickly begins to simply meander at a slow pace, starting various plot threads that it decides not to follow or resolve, and after teasing the audience with one notion it ultimately delivers something quite different and far more shallow that what was originally promised.
There are so many lost opportunities presented during ‘In Time’, there appears to be a history to the society that is being presented, and a story behind several of the characters we meet as they display unexplained motivations however so little of this is explored. The characters are under-developed with convoluted motivations leaving unconvincing (if any) reason behind their actions.
There are several action sequences throughout the film however once more it tends to fall relatively flat failing to deliver anything of particular interest and resulting in some general run of the mill scenes which do little to incite much interested in a mostly flat film.
The performances of the cast are consistently good here however without a doubt the strength of the script does let them down. Justin Timberlake steps up from supporting role to lead role with seeming ease though there appears to be little chemistry with leading lady Amanda Seyfried whom despite this also delivers a sound performance. Cillian Murphy is restrained to a fairly familiar and predictable role here but he makes the most of what he has to work with, unfortunately nothing here particularly transcends the film that surrounds the cast.
Overall ‘In Time’ is disappointing, it no doubt raises some interesting ideas and potentially compelling story opportunities but it misses most of its opportunities to deliver on them, there is little character development and while it includes some reasonable actions scenes, it’s nothing that can’t be easily matched in a number of more entertaining films elsewhere.
I’m giving it 2 out of 5 stars, the film is released Australia wide from Thursday 27 October 2011.