DIR/WRI: Andrew Niccol • PRO: Marc Abraham, Eric Newman, Andrew Niccol • DOP: Roger Deakins • ED: Zach Staenberg • DES: Alex McDowell • CAST: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde
Writer/director Andrew Niccol has tackled major subjects years before they became prominent in the media’s eye, be it cloning (Gattaca), reality shows (The Truman Show), or digitially created actors (S1m0ne). This time Niccol marries an old idea of everyone dying at the age of 25 (not unlike Logan’s Run) with the issue of imbalanced wealth distribution (which has been a hot topic for the last half decade), which makes this movie already feel, well, old.
In this alternate future, everyone stops aging at 25, and every second after that has to be earned, with your life expectancy viewable on your arm like a stopwatch that shows your constantly dwindling bank balance. Justin Timberlake is making a day-to-day living when a man with over a century on his arm gives him all his time, then promptly kills himself. Soon after, Timberlake’s mother (Olivia Wilde) dies when yet another price time hike empties her clock. This prompts Timberlake to go to where all the rich folk live and find out why some get to live potentially forever, while others are left to drop dead on the street. While there he is accused of murder, and goes on the run with spoilt rich kid Amanda Seyfried.
Due to the ‘Do Not Pass 25’ rule, Niccol is able to fill his cast with some very attractive faces (Timberlake, Seyfried, Wilde, not to mention Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and Cillian Murphy), and they all do reasonably well with their roles, but the movie itself is a potentially brilliant 15-minute short stretched out into a mediocre 109-minute feature. Once the universe is established, everything else is just a sci-fi Bonnie & Clyde/Robin Hood mish-mash of chases and robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. So while this is by no means a bad film, it is an epic case of ‘what could have been’.
Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
In Time is released on 4th November 2011