Review: In Time (2011) - AKA Run Timberlake Run!

So that movie that I keep talking about where time is currency and everyone has a clock embedded into their arm came out on Friday.  We saw it and I had two main observations:

1. The movie really should have been called Run Timberlake Run

2. It needed more Bomer (but then again, what doesn’t?)

I should have known from the very beginning when our main character, during a voiceover, states that he doesn’t have time to explain how things happened, why everyone stops aging at 25 and how time became a currency in the first place.  I should have seen that as a sign.  This was not a science fiction movie.  This was some other type of movie with a small science fiction-ish element laid over the top.  I think I would have liked this movie so much more if they'd just hinted at how a flourescent clock ends up in everyone's arm.  Why does it glow in the dark?

In Time tries to do too much at once while also not doing enough.  It’s a Bonnie and Clyde heist film one second and then a badly veiled “serious” critique of modern capitalism.  But mostly it’s Justin Timberlake running a lot and saying “time” every other word.  I don’t have enough time to discuss how many times the word time was used in this movie.  Time.

 Anyone who has seen the previews can get the jist of the movie – an old guy with a lot of time on his hands arm (that would be Matt Bomer) decides to commit suicide by giving all his time to a scrappy slum kid (Justin Timberlake).  Timekeepers – the cops of time (no, it’s not explained) – find out that this slum kid has more time than he should and a lot of running ensues.  There’s a kidnapping plot involving Amanda Seyfried’s character, but her character is so inconsistent I couldn’t even remember her name until I looked it up on IMDB.  I spent most of the Seyfried’s screen time distracted by her hair or the incredibly stupid choice of footwear she sports for all that running.  I kept expecting her to fall and break her ankle.  Six inch stilettos aren’t exactly getaway footwear.

Run Timberlake Run!

Though I have to hand it to Justin Timberlake - he did the best he could and managed to keep this from becoming a bad Saturday night Syfy original film.  His character, Will, was believable if not slightly interesting.  Too bad he spent most of his time running instead of acting.

He tries to save the movie, but could do only so muchCillian Murphy, who plays the main Timekeeper who is after scrappy Justin Timberlake, is the best part of this movie.  Perhaps it’s because he looks like Matt Bomer’s evil twin, but I found his character intriguing and it felt like Mr. Murphy was doing his very best to turn a flat cliché character into something three dimensional and interesting.  I think he did the very best job he could give with the material handed to him.

Wait just one second – Cillian Murphy is IRISH?!  When did that happen?

Moving on.  Then there’s Vincent Kartheiser playing a mega-rich business man, who has lived so long he’s numb and ambiguous to everything that isn’t his money time.  It was like a more boring version of Connor from Angel, though with much better hair.  He, of course, was the bad guy, who wanted all the little people to die so he could have all the money time.  Everything about his storyline has been done a million times - bad rich man hates the poor, over shelters his daughter, gets beaten by the scrappy young hoodlum who steals his daughter.

The script for this movie and the plot were so boring and cliché that I became distracted by the weirdest things, such as how Matt Bomer is still pretty even when people try to make him look horrible and how pretty the dresses Will’s mother wore considering they were supposed to be poor.  Besides the previously mentioned distractions from Seyfried’s character, I found every time Alex Pettyfer’s street thug gangster character showed up, I was more preoccupied in trying to figure out why everyone wants him to play every leading man in movie adaptations of YA books.  They must have done something to him in makeup because he looked older than me.

Though the worst of it was how easily time was transferred from person to person.  Basically you grab their arm, twist and ALL YOUR TIMEZ BELONG TO ME!  It was like carrying all your money around in a plastic bag.  The calmness and lack of crime shown in the ghetto, where everyone lived day by day (literally), didn’t strike me as very realistic.  Not to mention how these people weren’t banding together to overtake the rich folks for their time, considering how easy it is to overpower someone and take their life savings.

I hate that I was so bored by this movie.  The idea of time as currency as well as life expectancy is fascinating.  I want it to be a videogame I can play, not this really boring heist movie where characters change motivation quicker than a gangster can steal all your time.  Overall this just made me sad and realize how much I’m not a fan of Amanda Seyfried and her giant eyes.

 You know what would have made this movie better?  More Bomer.*

 

D

Wasted science fiction plot device in a standard heist movie; characters run instead of act; lots of hand waving instead of world building; Cillian Murphy and Matt Bomer should play brothers in something better

 

 

* If I ever have more free time, I think I’m going to start a website that’s just called “More Bomer”