In Time Review: Great Idea, Poor Execution

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In Time, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, is a sci-fi thriller that could have done so much more with such a promising premise. Director Andrew Niccol brings us a movie that had so much potential, only for it to be squandered by mediocre acting and poor execution.

Will Salas is a poor man living in the ghettos in a society where people stop aging at twenty-five and time is the worldwide currency. It is not an easy place to live, with criminals stealing years out of desperation and an overwhelming desire to live forever. A chance encounter with a very old man thrusts Will into a series of events that will change the world. Along the way, he meets the beautiful Sylvia Weis, daughter of one of the richest(and therefore oldest) men on the planet. Together, the two strike out into an unforgiving world, and they soon take it upon themselves to steal years and give them to the impoverished.

The acting here is nothing special. Justin Timberlake gives his typical performance,  pulling off the role but not really adding anything special to the part. Amanda Seyfried is practically mechanical, showing little to no emotion and delivering a downright boring performance. Cillian Murphy, who plays the Timekeeper Raymond Leon, gives the best performance, and his character proves to be the most interesting one in the film. By the time the film ends, we wish we got to know more about him and his past, because he really is a treat to watch onscreen.

The movie’s most disappointing aspect lies in its execution. It takes an original, intriguing idea and wastes it, causing the idea to come across as silly and unconvincing. The first half-hour of the movie makes it clear that it does not know where it wants to go, throwing concepts and ideas at us but never really taking the time to develop them. This is a shame, because the film gets into some deep concepts concerning death and immortality but never does anything with them.

What the movie does have going for it are some cool, quick action scenes and lots of suspense. The thriller part of the movie is done very well, but overall it should have dug deeper to explain the message it is trying to convey.

In Time builds suspense very well and features some fun fight and chase scenes, but by the time the credits roll audiences will want more than they got.

1 out of 5 stars

 

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