A waste of "Time"

Nov. 1, 2011, 3 p.m. | By Brittany Cheng | 11 years, 10 months ago

Despite excellent premise and solid cinematography, "In Time" fails to deliver

Writer, director and producer Andrew Niccol takes the popular saying, "time is money" for a spin and gives it a literal meaning in his new sci-fi thriller, "In Time." The film has one of those hyped up plots that, depending on the level of execution, can turn a movie into either a hit or miss. Unfortunately, it is the latter. As unique as the premise is, poor editing and a meandering plot causes the film to be so slow and repetitive that not even its clean cinematography could save it from its mediocre fate.

In a future where no one ages past 25 years, time becomes currency and one's lifespan is measured by wealth, Will Salas (Justin Timberlate) lives in a time zone called Dayton (otherwise known as the "ghettos"), where most people struggle to make ends meet and live on a day to day basis. When he saves rich, yet suicidal Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) from a gang, Salas inherits Hamilton's time of 116 years. Soon after, Salas becomes a wanted criminal, falsely accused of the murder of Hamilton and the kidnapping of heiress Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), causing him to run for his life before the police, led by "Timekeeper" Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy), can capture him.

At almost two hours in length, the film is just too long. A good portion of the time was spent hovering over the characters' forearms to watch the glowing green time tick away (with the other portion of camera time divided amongst various hotel rooms). Oh no — he's almost out of time! He's almost out of time again…and again…

If it was meant to create a sense of urgency and sympathy for Salas's "Robin-Hood" and revenge quest, it failed. In fact, there are too many pointless sub-plot characters (i.e. the gang) popping in and out all at once that Salas didn't even start his quest until almost an hour into the movie (and that is when things start going down hill).

After Salas becomes the "Robin-Hood" of Dayton, the plot starts to unravel all over the place, leaving more questions than answers for the audience. Weis's characterization is weak, the romance between Salas and Weis is sub-par and nothing meaningful comes out of the latter half of the movie.

Despite the poor plot and weak editing, not all aspects of the movie are horrible; the cinematography, the sets and action sequences are, in fact, commendable. There is elegance to the simple, clean shots in the film and the camera work is steady. The beautiful settings of Dayton and New Greenwich, the richest time zone, are also masterful and authentic, setting up the stark contrast between the two locations. In addition, the action sequences are, thankfully, not over the top or unbelievable.

The acting is good and exceeds expectations. Timberlake's performance is authentic and enjoyable; throughout the film, he embodies and becomes Will Salas, who fortunately for Timberlake, is the only three-dimensional character in the story. However, one must give props to Seyfried for running in five-inch heels for most of the movie and even jumping from a third floor window.

Along with the talented acting, the dialogue is the script's most redeeming factor and saves it from utter catastrophe. The most striking and memorable piece of dialogue in the film is delivered, in fact, by Timberlake. Before Hamilton gave Salas his time, he asked him what he would do if he had a hundred years. Salas replied, "I sure as hell wouldn't waste it."

Even though "In Time" is entertaining for a while, watching time trickle away on someone's forearm is not what one would call exciting. The concept is great and the movie could have been excellent, but the delivery is disappointing. If time is money, then save it — don't waste it — and just wait for the film to come out on Netflix.

"In Time" (109 minutes) is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, partial nudity and strong language. Now playing in theaters everywhere.

Tags: Amanda Seyfried In Time Justin Timberlake

Brittany Cheng. <br>Brittany Cheng ('13) served as co-Editor-in-Chief of Silver Chips Online (SCO) with <a href = "http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/staff/698">Langston Taylor</a> during the 2012-2013 school year. During their tenure, Cheng and Taylor led the site's front page makeover with technical staff members Prashan Dharmasena and Jessica Shi, incorporated live-blogging … More »

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