So a week or so ago, I watched this movie which was released last year. It seem, other than Prometheus or Avengers to be one of the few actual serious and reasonably well produced science fiction films in a fairly lean year for the genre.
Now this film did have a slick, modern near-future image to it from the posters, stills and trailers, but it also had the pop charmer Justin Timberlake as the male lead in the movie. He has of course now been in many big budget Hollywood movies, of various genres and styles, but I do often find the guy irritating and just not so great and actor.
Even with Timberlake in lead, I viewed it as certainly still a new sci-fi movie which seemed to be worth a look. The narrative premise did seem a more engaging or possibly unique one than most recent sci-fi movies around.
It actually came to be a film that surprised in a number of unexpected ways I found, which was good. It definately was one of those sci-fi premises that could be outstandingly amazing or just terribly weak and unintentionally funny. It was aware that it was quite a ‘out there’ concept, and there were a good few sly knowing lines but also clever dialogue about life, time, mortality and time related puns.
Another possibly calamitous aspect to the film was the casting of Amanda Seyfried as the female romantic lead alongside Timberlake. She is most definately a very talented young actor though usually seem so far in much more romantic and light films and roles, this was a very different and arguably possibly challenging role for her.
Thankfully both of the two main lead actors did carry the film well enough, Timberlake certainly. With Seyfried she did take time to come through in the role, but eventually supported his lead well enough.
The film probably is one of the more surprisingly culturally relevant and porvocative science fiction films for a while, as there are some quite challenging and significant themes and issues in the story. This is a very near future, where time is our main commodity, replacing money. Each person had a digital clock number on thier forearm, but a limited time, which relates to their own life and their wealth.
In this film, time literally is money, and time is life. People trade and work for more time, and they pay and buy with amounts of time, taken from and added to their arm time displays. It is in a way, surreal and in some ways ludicrous but it does somehow work enough for the overall story.
Timberlake’s character happens to save a mysterious man, who leaves him a vast amount of time. When this man commits suicide, it is seen as murder and Timberlake is the suspect who then must run. But with this sudden life-altering amount of time, he has to reevaluate his own life and what he could do with it.
The film brings together issues of poverty, wealth, crime, desperation and greed. In our real present times of recession and class wealth extremes, this film focuses on particularly relevant themes at just the right time.
While not the most over the top sci-fi film visually, it is dystopian and mostly quite fast paced and has quick and clever dialogue and Timberlake is a charming lead, as expected. The other main impressive actor is Cillian Murphy, who portrays a hell-bent bounty hunter character who just will not stop chasing Timberlake until he is finished off for good.
While I was only just expecting maybe a nice visually smooth, sci-fi chase action movie, it provided a much more unexpected and very relevant film with the courage to look at just how far things go with wealth, class and business. Yes, it probably could have become an even more profound film, and half way in becomes a futuristic Bonny and Clyde pastiche, but it still carries the relevant themes through to the end enjoyably well.
IN TIME is a modern, near-future sci-fi movie worth seeing, a mainstrema movie with some unexpected and challenging questions about life, time, wealth and tomorrow.