Time is money in Niccol’s ‘In Time’

By the time you’re finished watching “In Time,” you’re going to wish that you had that time back.

The director and writer of the film, Andrew Niccol, has established a good career as a filmmaker, producing some solid works such as “Gattaca” and “Lord of War.”

However, he lays an egg with his latest sci-fi thriller, “In Time.”

The movie starts off pretty good.

The premise is certainly a unique concept, one that hasn’t been done in other sci-fi films.

The story takes place in a futuristic world where time is a currency of wealth.

People stop aging at 25 and only have one more year to live unless they can get more time to live.

With this system intact, the wealthy can live forever and the poor die young unless they can scrap or steal for time.

Justin Timberlake plays Will Salas, a 28-year-old blue-collar worker living in the ghetto with his mother, Rachel Salas (Olivia Wilde).

Will meets a 105-year-old man, Henry Hamilton (Matthew Bomer), at a bar early in the story. When the man decides to commit suicide, he gives a century’s worth of time to Salas.

Salas uses that time to move to Safe Haven, an area where only the rich reside. While there, he meets Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), a daughter of a rich man.

When a law enforcement group known as the timekeepers wrongly accuses him of murdering Hamilton and stealing his time, he goes on the run to avoid getting arrested.

After he runs from the timekeepers, he takes Weis hostage and returns back to the ghetto to hide from the authorities.

He and Weis begin a relationship together and both decide to fight the system by stealing time and spreading it out to the poor.

While the premise and concept seem like a fun idea to play around with, the story doesn’t take off as well as it should have.

Niccol is more concerned about delving into this sci-fi fantasy world rather than smoothly advancing the plot. Salas doesn’t actually start stealing time until about halfway through the movie. Niccol becomes so wrapped in various subplots that he loses sight of the big picture.

Timberlake’s performance in depicting a vigilante is fun to watch, but he alone isn’t enough to save Niccol’s terrible direction.

The acting isn’t good across the board, though.

Seyfried’s performance in this one is mediocre to say the least. And Cillian Murphy, who plays one of the timekeepers, is just plain creepy. Wilde, however, does take good use of limited onscreen time as a 60-year-old mother — as weird as that looks.

Overall, this is just a sloppy film that should be avoided at all costs, at least until it hits stores on DVD and Blu-Ray. Until then, don’t waste your time–and money–on this one.

JACOB TARR

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