Saturday, October 29, 2011

In Time - Reel Rhino Review

I may be light on the filmgoing this weekend...if any of the Reel Rhino faithful get a chance to see Puss in Boots, Anonymous, or The Rum Diary...please drop your opinion in the comments section below.  And now on to the show...

I was extremely excited to see IN TIME.  I say that, knowing full well that the lead was played by none other than J Tim...Justin Timberlake that is.  I am here to announce once and for all, I no longer recognize as a former boy band member and I now recognize him as an actor.  His role as Jacques Grande in The Love Guru withstanding.

Granted, he wasn't in Sean Parker form (see also: The Social Network), but he can pass for an action/adventure hero, and I think that we will be seeing a lot more from him in the very near future.

When I saw the trailer for this, I was pretty blown away at the concept of the flick....see for yourself;


I think I will describe this film more than offer a commentary, other this: go see this is an original concept, and for that alone, it deserves to be seen.

When Will Salas (Timberlake) is falsely accused of murder, he must figure out a way to bring down a system where time is literally money, enabling the wealthy to live forever while the poor, like Will, have to beg, borrow, and steal enough minutes to make it through another day. 

Currency is time, in every sense of the word in this film.  There is no paper money...set in the near future, you are paid for work with time, you pay your bills with time...time is all that matters.  You age normally from birth through age 25...that's when your "clock" starts and you maintain a youthful appearance until the day you "time out."  Imprinted on your arm is the sum of your wealth, being the amount of time you have left in your life, unless you can get more time. 

Salas stumbles into a great deal of currency, when he saves a stranger from a group of thieves.  Muggings in this future society have a bit more of a dire impact, than just losing your wallet.  Time can be shared with friends or family, which is also how the thieves make their run at getting minutes however they can.  The means of transfer is touch, with the grip and direction of twist in the hands affecting the direction of flow of time.  A neat concept, indeed.

Then there are the timekeepers...the cops of the future, who are tasked with investigating unbalances in the distribution of time in society.

The concept is made even more complex as the nature of these unbalances become more clear.  There are neighborhoods, known as "time zones," \which to travel into, you must pay a steep toll, to the tune of a day up to a few months, to travel from one to the other.  A sort of population control.  The rich and famous live in Zone 1, where people have time banked to the proportion that they are essentially immortal.  The poor live day to day, literally. 

When Salas gets this load of time dropped in his lap, he quickly maneuvers himself to Zone 1.  He makes some friends and is invited to a party, where he meets Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried).  This is where the story really takes off and i'll leave it to you to see how it plays out.

The lead timekeeper is played by Cillian Murphy.  He looks twice the size as he was in 28 Days Later and truthfully, he was pretty bad ass!

Also making an appearance here was Olivia Wilde, 2011's It-Girl.  She plays Will's mother, Rachel.  It is kind of an odd concept to get used to, given the oldest anyone looks is 25 years old.  Yes, some of the less fortunate do look a bit more haggard...Johnny Galecki for one...good to see you back in features, my friend.

Murphy's timecop is certain that Salas must have stolen the windfall of time that he was given, and the cat and mouse game is on.

This film was written and directed by Andrew Niccol.  A notable work in his past that bleeds through in this flick is Gattaca.  The bio-medical sci-fi genre is clearly something he does well...but then again, he also gave us S1mOne, the Al Pacino atrocity.  He was the screenwriter on Peter Weir's The Truman Show, a Reel Rhino favorite.  I think as a filmmaker, Niccol has talent, I only wonder why his films are so few and far between.  Gattaca was Niccol's first feature, released when he was just 33 years old.  Since then, he has made only 4 other films, In Time included.  He does have another writer/director credit slated for 2012, a sci-fi flick called The Host.  Given my enjoyment of this flick, I can't wait.

The tone of the film reminded me of Gattaca, as well as last year's Surrogates, the later being the much less sophisticated of the two, but a film I like none the less.  I liked the tone, as well as the overall look of In Time, very industrial and dark, where appropriate, which was contrasted nicely with the light colored and more clinical look of things, also when appropriate.

This film had some good laugh out loud moments, a solid through and through storyline, and a real cute hair cut on Seyfried.  What more could you ask for from an original sci-fi film, the likes of which was reminiscent of Christopher Nolan, with just a little less panache.

A real decent outing by all, I give this 4 of 5 horns.

FYI: Ghostbusters is still playing at AMC Theaters...they are running two shows, including a midnight screening, through Halloween.  Go see it if you can!!

Until later, take care,
Reel Rhino

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