Thursday 5 January 2012

In Time - film review

In Time

Film Review

In Time - an intriguing concept which lapses into a two dimensional chase.

I would suggest that a more accurate title would be "Time is money". Set in the not so distant future where humanity has been genetically engineered to stop at the age of 25, after which you have just one year of time on your clock, counting down on your left forearm in flashing neon lights like a 1970's Casio calculator. The key twist is that this time is a transferable commodity, bought and sold, won and lost, borrowed and banked - run out and you are dead! 

The end result is an impoverished underclass who scratch around trying to accumulate enough minutes to last another day, whilst at the other end of the spectrum there is the "monied" ruling class who have all the time in the world - literally. So here is a fascinating opportunity to look at inequality, a world where for the haves to live on in luxury, the have not's must die. Unfair, but not so far from the reality we know. 

The shame is that this original premise in not fully explored. Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is the hero from the ghetto, aged 28 (or 25 plus 3 as he puts it), acquires over 100 years or tradeable life which he uses to buy and gamble his way into the world of the wealthy - time rich who are nearly immortal but lead impoverished and empty lives. Will meets Sylvia Weiss (Amanda Segfried, aged 25 plus 2) - daughter of one of the worlds most wealthy time lenders and a classic Bonnie and Clyde partnership ensues. 

Will wants to change the world, just like his father, and Sylvia wants excitement. They blunder around chased by a time marshal who plays a central role, but who's character and motivation is never unpacked - an opportunity missed. There is a lot of "will they wont they" as they fumble around for a plan, but in the end they decide upon a spot of Quantitative Easing which hits the spot, but leaves the film with an uncertain outcome. I suspect that the idea is to leave scope for a sequel, but the concept has probably run its course and will be left to time out like the people of its creation. 

Sometimes its the little things in films which bug me. In this case it was Sylvia Weiss who morphed from a spoilt and protected brat to a gun toting Lara Croft in the blink of an eye. But what was worse was the fact that she did so wearing a pair of the most ridiculous 5" heel platform shoes. I am not sure which was more implausible: running and jumping in these high fashion effectations or the fact that humankind would be stupid enough to bring back platform soles for a third time.... 

So, the film contains a premise which really gets you thinking, but whose interpretation utterly fails to do the concept justice. Entertaining but it could have been so much more.


Dave,Beryl Bradshaw said...

Could you not bother with Black background White Lines and Grey text it is very hard to read

Andy Tidy said...

Its an annoying side effect of importing text and I have no idea why it happens! Have given it a black background which works - sort of.
Moral - type into blogger.

Halfie said...

Sounds fascinating. How do you have time to watch so many films (and read so many books)?

Andy Tidy said...

The books are courtesy of excessive amount of time on the train to London.