"The rich can live forever, the poor must earn for more time", this tagline describes the essence of In Time perfectly. This dystopian science fiction thriller film written, directed, and produced by Andrew Niccol and starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy that takes place in a society where people stop aging at 25 and each has a clock on their arm that counts down how long they have to live.
Before the film was titled In Time, the names Now and I'm.mortal were originally considered and were eventually used as working titles. In July 2010, it was reported that Amanda Seyfried had been offered a lead role. In July 2010, it was confirmed that Justin Timberlake had been offered a lead role. In August 2010, Cillian Murphy was confirmed to have joined the cast. In a movie about people who would stop aging at 25 years old, many of the actors, including Murphy and Timberlake, were in their late 20s and early 30s. Seyfried, however, really was 25 years old during filming. In addition, Timberlake is three years older than Olivia Wilde who plays his mother. In an interview with Kristopher Tapley of InContention.com Roger Deakins stated that he would be shooting the film in digital, which makes this the first film to be shot in digital by the veteran cinematographer. The use of future retro is one of many elements that the film seems to share with Niccol's earlier work, Gattaca (1997). The earlier work also features electrically powered vintage cars (notably a Rover P6 and again, a Citroën DS), as well as buildings of indeterminate age. Gattaca also deals with innate inequalities (though in its case genetic, rather than longevity) and the film's protagonist also seeks to cross the divide that his birthright is supposed to deny him. Similarly, he is pursued by law enforcement officers after being wrongly identified as having committed a murder.
The film stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer and Johnny Galecki. Not only did the cast bring nothing to the table in terms of communicating the director's themes and commentary, but they also had no personality or likability whatsoever to make us care about their conflicts, struggles and their fight to remain young forever. In addition, they are nothing more than eye candy for audience to swoon over.
In Time is chilly, elegant, and a little bloodless. Designer models inhabit a dystopia in a stylish SF thriller filled with recycled plot devices. The satire in the film lacks bite, and the plot isn't believable enough to feel relevant. It fails on all points of plot, characterisation, plausibility and realism. If you're expecting a scathing commentary on our youth obsessed times, then this film isn't it. If you're expecting a riveting entertainment, then the film isn't it either. Not only has the filmmaker who brought us Gattaca elected to address some extremely well worn themes, he evidently has little new to say about them.
Simon says In Time receives: