Movies That Should Have Been Awesome: In Time

I gave this movie a try because the concept was cool. Let me be more specific, the concept was cool in the preview. Time is currency. Everybody stops aging at 25 and gets one more year to live. That’s neato. But in the movie the concept is never clearly explained and actually becomes more confusing. For instance, how exactly is time taken off of people’s lives? How is it transferred into currency and a person’s life span added or subtracted to? The mysteries of their universe remain unsolved and make it harder to suspend the necessary belief.

SPOILER ALERT!

The story unfolds through a bold display of alpha maleness that scores Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) a century’s worth of time from a rich guy who had grown tired of living. Said rich guy also informs JT of the whole conspiracy of the Rich to subjugate the poor and suck the life out of them so they could live forever. He then rushes to meet his mother whose clock is quickly running out.

By the way, JT’s relationship with his “mother” is just plain weird. Like, Stephen King’s ‘Sleepwalkers’ creepy. For one, she’s hot and they look exactly the same age. It’s skeevy. They are both “25”, though his mother is supposed to be fifty. I was literally uncomfortable in my own living room watching the interaction between the two. All I could think was, he probably banged her in his trailer between takes and then had to call her “mom”. I may have thrown up in my mouth a little.

But when JT’s Oedipal fantasy is cut short (he was seriously crying in the rain when momma ran out of time) I saw a glimmer of hope. He wins some money…er time, meets a girl and kills some people in a burst of machismo all while dodging the time cops. And throughout it all was cardboard dialogue that would’ve made Bruce Campbell proud.

The underlying themes were worthy of a dystopian sci-fi adventure. Time=Money=Life. Rich vs. Poor class war. But the good times didn’t last. The story morphed into a Robin Hood meets Bonnie and Clyde catastrophe that left nothing to the imagination. It was as predictable as an N’Sync video and twice as annoying.

This troubles me. I thought action sci-fi was ironclad. I thought nothing could ruin it no matter how cheesy it got. I thought that if this titan of genres could survive the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ashton Kutcher, Wynona Ryder and Vin Diesel that it would endure Justin Timberlake. I have been proven wrong. And I feel horrible that I was once again duped by tricky editing and clips of way-too-skinny hot chicks into wasting Microsoft Points.

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About Universal Shift

I am the Sonata Unusual. I coat myself with some obtuse angle too far below zero to become any warmer. I create motivation, activate schemas, moisten gardens with scents of natural honeydew. Construct this meaning, you sleepy flock. Silence your singing—despairing contortions out of tune. Shatter the brittle butterfly glass with your hideous wailing. I am born of my god’s imagination. When I die I shall meet him. For there are many things to discuss over tea…or scotch.

Posted on February 5, 2012, in Author, Movies, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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