November 25, 2011

MOVIES: In Time (Andrew Niccol, 2011)

In Time is a servicable action thriller with unexpected political timeliness. The central gimmick is that everyone stops aging at 25, but that's when the clock starts ticking; they're given one year to live for free, but any life beyond that has to be earned (or given to you). Time is literally money; some wake up scrambling for enough time to get to tomorrow, and some have centuries of inherited wealth stored up.

Given the lead time involved in making a movie, the resonance with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 1%/99% rhetoric is surely coincidental, but that doesn't stop it from occasionally feeling a bit heavy handed and clunky. Vincent Kartheiser, for instance, is saddled with a few too many speeches about how "for some to be immortal, many have to die."

Justin Timberlake can be an interesting actor in the right role, but he doesn't have quite the right charisma to be an action hero. He does have some nice moments with Amanda Seyfried, though, especially when they become the Bonnie and Clyde of time. Kartheiser gives the most interesting performance as the evil tycoon.

The movie's a perfectly nice piece of popcorn entertainment, and it will make for a pleasant afternoon in front of the TV when it gets to cable, but it's hardly something you need to rush out and see in the theater.


Topiary for a Free World! said...

I thought this could have been a great movie had Kartheiser been the lead with Seyfried. Timberlake was like a giant motionless squid sitting in the middle of the movie.

The contrast with Timberlake, who must have been told all you have to do to be an actor is to be expressionless, and the other two REAL actors, even Johnny Galecki who had like, 2 minutes of screen time, just showed Timberlake has zero talent, he's not even cute to look at.

Seyfried could out-act Timberlake even while having to run in towering heels, backwards.

Topiary for a Free World! said...

I thought this could have been a great movie had Kartheiser been given the lead instead of the giant motionless squid (Timberlake).

I just don't get why Timberlake keeps being given starring parts when he cannot carry them.

Seyfried, Kartheiser or Johnny Galecki, who was given less than a couple minutes, out-acted Timberlake in those few minutes and showed why they are real actors and why Timberlake should have stuck to singing.

I just don't get why they keep giving Timberlake parts. To say he is wooden is an insult to trees everywhere. He's not even good looking, which (Chris Hemsworth, anybody) can excuse a lot!

Seyfried gamely ran through this movie in impossibly high heels, showing what a talented actress she is. Kartheiser took the few scenes he was given and made them interesting.

Timberlake was given almost the whole movie and didn't make me care about his character at all.

Keith said...

I thought Kartheiser was good here, but I'm not sure he'd have been any better as an action hero than Timberlake was. What they have in common, I think, is that their intelligence shows on screen; they're best served by roles in which we see them thinking, not by roles in which they have to shoot things and hit people.

And I'm so used to seeing Kartheiser play sleazy weasels -- and he's very good at it -- that it's hard for me to imagine him playing any sort of heroic lead. Though, goodness knows, I'm always happy to be surprised when an actor show unexpected range, and it might be interesting to watch him try.

What have you seen Seyfried in that makes you think of her as talented? I'm still waiting for that particular revelation, myself.

Topiary for a Free World! said...

Sorry about the double post, I thought the first one had been lost so posted it all again.

I thought Seyfried was decent in Red Riding Hood, which, granted, was a mess, but I guess I like her from her "Veronica Mars" days, especially memorable coming back as the blood-drenched ghost sitting on the couch telling her brother to solve her murder.

She's not the best maybe but compared to Timberlake she deserves an Oscar. She seemed to gamely take on the heels, the wig, and the motionless, expressionless co-star and try to bring some humanity to the part.

Keith said...

I never got the whole Veronica Mars thing. Maybe someday I'll go back and look at it again on DVD. (Just as soon I finish getting caught up with Buffy. And Angel. And Deadwood. And The Wire....