Science fiction never was my thing, but while I’ll usually pass on aliens, rocket ships and robots, I’m easily sucked in by a nice, dark dystopian noir.
Producer/director Andrew Niccol’s 2011 In Time may not have spent much time in theaters, and might not get ranked with Blade Runner or even Dark City, but it’s a reasonably good film, and the two leads do a good and earnest job throughout. Justin Timberlake’s naturally a likeable sort, but manages some real intensity here once the tensions rise. Amanda Seyfried may not be the first actress that comes to mind for what turns into a pretty tough gun-toting role, but she pulls it off with style. And what style. Long blonde tresses may be Seyfried’s trademark, but she gives a short reddish bob some badass panache.
In Time’s 22nd century is a familiar looking yet unpleasant world in which people are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25, when a one-year countdown (digitally displayed on their forearm) commences till they ‘time out’ and immediately expire. But time can be bought and sold, setting up the ultimate have’s and have-not’s, with laborers slaving away at menial jobs in dreary blue collar cities while the well-heeled buy, steal or wager for (and horde) time credits to live in luxury and for as long as they want. When Timberlake’s character is robbed/tricked out of nearly all his time, he abducts Seyfried as a hostage to get his life back. No surprise, they fall for each other, she goes rogue, and the pair ultimately rob the wealthy’s time banks, literally stealing from the rich to give to the poor. A top-notch cast includes Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde and Johnny Galecki in various good, bad and a-little-of-both roles. There’s some nifty gunplay and a lot of well-shot/edited chases and running around. In fact, I hope Amanda Seyfried got a bonus for all of the running in heels. Location candids show the actress in killer shoes. I always thought the moment a director hollered “Cut”, it was time for Uggs or bunny slippers.
Oscars all around for In Time? Well, no, I’m not going that far. And it’s not Blade Runner. But it is darn good, it is stylish-looking with a noir-ish flair even if much of it is brightly lit, and Amanda Seyfried ought to get signed for more roles where she can wave a gun around. She does it well.