Cinematic Malfunction – In Time

“No one should be immortal even if one person has to die.” Justin Timberlake says towards the end of his new movie In Time. It’s a really dumb line. Maybe if you were halfway through a joint and on your second tab of LSD you could find some meaning behind it. But a sober mind in this reality will realize unless everyone is immortal, some people are dying making that line as half baked and meaningless as this movie.

It’s kind of a shame because In Time is based on an interesting concept, one that was probably devised under the influence of hallucinogens. It’s set in a world where no one ages after they turn 25. You then have a year to live. Unless you can earn more time your body dies in a year. Time becomes the new currency. It costs you an hour to take the bus and eight and a half weeks for a meal at a fancy restaurant. The idea is rife with possibilities for symbolism. It hints at the similarities between their class structure and our society’s disparity of wealth. And while the producers did tack on a social uprising at the end of the movie to exploit the Occupy Wall Street craze, no one making this movie realized that even with our monetary system our time is still precious.

Everyone in this world is supposed to be 25. A quality driven home when you meet Timberlake’s 50 year old Mom who looks like a supermodel, but then random characters come into the frame who look to be in their forties. These kind of inconsistencies along with the awkward jump cuts in the editing have this movie flirting with so bad it is good territory.

Justin Timberlake does everything he can to push this movie into classic awfulness.  When he cries, you laugh. When he spouts out one-liners in-between rounds of ammunition, you laugh, but at him not with him. When he’s in one of the myriad scenes where he’s being chased, you half expect him to turn to the camera and start singing and going into one of his NSync dances. But Timberlake has nothing on his damsel in distress, Amanda Seyfried. There’s more subtlety in XXX porn than you get from her performance.

Unfortunately for bad movie connoisseurs In Time has some decent chase scenes with ticking clocks which force you to lose yourself in the movie stopping yourself from laughing at it all the way through. To quote another line from the movie “It is what it is.” A movie based on a good idea unconcerned about execution and cliches in the dialogue.

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