How much time has to go by before we forget that Justin Timberlake was once a pop star? Better question; how many movies does he have to star in for us to forget? In Time marks his second attempt at being a leading man since his turn in the romantic comedy Friends with Benefits. He impressed most people as the devilish Sean Parker in The Social Network, but is he good enough to shoulder the load of a entire film that dares to do more than just put asses in seats with a promise of pretty faces having sex, like his last film? No, he is not.
In Time is an ambitious sci-fi film from Andrew Niccol, who's written some very impressive movies like The Terminal, The Truman Show and Gattaca. However, he's a far better writer than he is a director since attempts like Lord of War and S1mone fell quite flat.
But In Time has a ridiculous premise where, in the future, time is our currency and we all stop aging at 23. I give Niccol credit in that he tried to make more than another mindless sci-fi action flick. It's really a statement about class warfare and socioeconomic policies. Pretty timely considering the current political climate in this country. But as current as it seems, it comes across as a script that was written years ago and was never updated. For instance, it's not clear why we would ever go back to using pay phones and old muscle cars in the future. But all the cleverness in the script gets lost in the stilted dialogue and piss-poor acting from Timberlake.
Even gifted actors as Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, 28 Days Later) and Amanda Seyfried (HBO's Big Love, Mama Mia!) couldn't make this middle school dialogue seem like entertainment, so I guess it's not all Timberlake's fault but boy is he not ready for primetime.
Aside from a bad script and a poor choice in a leading man, the movie isn't very exciting. It's a great concept to make a futuristic Robin Hood, but it gets so lost when a bigger problem is presented as a by-product of stealing time from one of the wealthiest men in the country. Not to mention that it would bog the movie down if they stopped to explain why that bigger problem would exist without going into an economics lesson on a scale that would make us all doze off.
So it's needlessly complicated, then confusing with its plot and to top it all off, the action isn't nearly plentiful enough to make us entertained by any of it. By the time the movie has reached its exhaustingly excessive 109 minutes, you're just wishing it would end. Ironic since the whole movie is about time and always trying to get more because I wish I could buy my time back from the creators of In Time since I feel a bit robbed of it.
In Time (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: D+