This film had some great potential. The filming is gorgeous, the color schemes are all across the spectrum yet still cohesive and dazzling, and the story line in its most simple form is quite interesting (and incidentally very similar to a short film one of the students at my college completed this past Spring. Weird). The one thing that brings the film down is the dialogue and the manner in which the actors are forced to deliver their lines because of its mediocre quality.
I was once a Justin Timberlake hater, but the fellow has grown on me over the years and I actually think he is a decent actor. Likewise, I know Amanda Seyfried is capable of a better performance as well, thus I must blame the script and the lines that Amanda’s character is given that make her sound like a complete idiot. For In Time being Justin’s first truly serious role, he did the best with what he was given and his performance for the most part wasn’t half bad. That being said, the characters in the film are generic two-dimensional cliches: the street-savvy working man with a good heart and no money, and the spoiled rich and smothered daddy’s girl who is bored with her life. Throw in the uber-driven cop (Cillian Murphy) who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and you’ve got the formula for a pretty sub-par action film. And despite his extremely good looks (of which I was previously oblivious to), Alex Pettyfer’s tough, mob boss-like character proved rather confusing and random. His origins and motives are not entirely explained; he just seems to have a “because I can” quality to him, though perhaps that could be the point. Also the Andrew Niccol’s attempt to emulate the Bonnie and Clyde, fugitive lovers on the run storyline feels incomplete and contrived, much like the rest of the movie; overall it just leaves the audience wanting.
If Andrew Niccol had spent a little more time on the script and really focused on its originality, In Time could have been a winner. Instead the quality of the film rests on the visuals, which Niccol seemed to have spent more time on along with cinematographer Roger Deakins who, on a side note, has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Achievement in Cinematography category 9 times, and it’s definitely not hard to see why.
In Time runs 109 minutes and is rated PG-13.