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In Time (2011) – 32/100

In Time goes down in flames spectacularly. It starts off with some improbable assumptions, though they are not too hard to come to terms with. Time is literally money, once you accept this, the first 20 minutes are pretty pleasing. It turns into an intriguing darkish sci-fi flick. Then, the story picks up, things start going well for the protagonist. The film turns into a fantasy fulfillment, taking on the “if I were a rich man” spiel. It refers to classic fish out of a barrel, poor boy in a rich world, street smarts trump book smarts, type stories. Though cliche, these remixes of the old are always appealing on the level of day-dream fulfillment. Halfway through, low budget scars signal disaster. Immediately after a not so convincing CGI car crash, the story starts to take a serious downturn. Improbable micro-events, the sort of: “wait how did he get there so fast?” and “how does he know that?” plot holes start showing up. Disgustingly cliche shots start appearing, and the whole naive “crime is fun” attitude is overemphasized. The protagonists appear indestructible, and somehow are excellent shots and naturally intimidating to everyone but the audience. Such great success is unwarranted, and the film starts to seem like empowerment propaganda. Then to top it off, morality is brought into the picture: a fight for personal survival turns into a social quest to redistribute wealth, or in this case time. There is also an incredibly pathetic standoff near the end, which is not in the least convincing, and is too easily manipulated and won by the protagonists.

Of course, sprinkled in between is weak dialogue, and inconsistent arguments of why hierarchies exist and why they shouldn’t. The film can be summed up in that it is a dissatisfied rant: it  voices distrust in capitalism, and competitive systems, with no coherence and under the guise of a poorly cut action flick. Seriously, the scenes are forced together after the 1st hour, in total parallel to a fragmented argument lacking all unity. In Time is a collage of anti-hierarchy sentiments, as shakily pasted together as the second half of the story. I am very disappointed in the film. The trailer looked too low budget, but then I was impressed by the first hour, and finally the second hour was an ideological train wreck of an overtone tainting a very unconvincing series of events. However, I’d like to see Justin Timberlake in some more films. His role in this film wasn’t too convincing, but he has an amiable screen presence. And, Amanda Seyfried is definitely the best part of the film; so so ridiculously sexy.


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