Justin Timberlake, In Time, cinester.wordpress.com

Dear Andrew Niccol (Director, Writer, Producer) and Justin Timberlake (Actor?):


Andrew, I’m assuming one of the main points of the film In Time (2011), as repeated often by our earnest thespian-in-training Justin, is that time is precious (“Yo dawg, every second counts.”). Well I’m sorry to report that mine was squandered watching this film. I’d like my time back sir. Time is currency in your movie, so mail me a two-hour check, please.

I don’t get it. You can direct! You can write! I thoroughly enjoyed Gattaca (1997), same dystopian sci-fi genre, but I also thought the Truman Show (1998) and Lord of War (2005) were well made and hugely entertaining. So what happened!?

Your concept is there—dystopian future where human beings are genetically engineered not to age past 25. After that, you have one picture of numbers on arm, from film In Time, cinester.wordpress.comyear on the “clock”, the thirteen numbers on your left forearm. Time is money, so the moment you spend those last seconds, you die, or “time out”. The rich get more time and, barring an act of random violence, live forever. The poor are “timing out” on the streets. It’s a little bit of the Frighteners (1996 Peter Jackson film, where the Grim Reaper is putting numbers on people’s forehead marking them for death) and a little bit of the “Savin’ Me”(2005) video by Nickelback.

Justin Timberlake is Will Sylas, a hardworking guy from the wrong side of the tracks, living second-to-second, who’s given the gift of time by Matt Bomer (Henry Hamilton in the movie, and the tool who wears all of the pretentious fedoras in White Collar). Henry Hamilton lets Will in on the dirty secret of the system. Then, when tragedy strikes, Will decides to “Make them pay, dawg.” Enter SylviaJustin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfriend, In Time, cinester.wordpress.com Weis (Amanda Seyfried, wearing one of the worst wigs I’ve ever seen), she’s got a lot of time on her hands (haha—get it, she’s rich) and takes up with the bad boy, Bonnie and Clyde style. Seconds behind him is Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy), a timekeeper (because the word TimeCop was already taken by Jean-Claude Van Damme) and the time-mafia, referred to as Minutemen in the movie, and no, I’m not joking.

Andrew, the biggest problem here was that every two seconds, the actors were winking at the audience, like “See, did you get that?” or “Boy, aren’t we clever?” Every cliché involving time that I’d ever heard, and a few I hadn’t, was spoken at least once. If you’re going to introduce something to the audience, say the vocabulary of a future society, it should sound natural. Harrison Ford didn’t run through Bladerunner shouting “Replicants!” every five seconds.

Now Justin, “My Love” let me “Take It From Here”. When I left the theater after the movie, your performance was “Still On My Brain”. I don’t want to say that you can’t act. I think that there are far worse actors out there than you, but perhaps I can say that your reach exceeded your grasp. You did a good job in The Social Network, but then again you spoke in taglines like, “A million dollars isn’t cool.”It’s easy to give an accurate portrayal of the guy who created Napster, just act really sad that the music industry took your money.  Bottom line, at the end of In Time, I just felt like I’d watched an extended video for “4 Minutes”.

Don’t despair, I would never leave you hanging, dawg. Here’s what you should watch instead.

  1. Gattaca (1997) – As I said before, Andrew Niccol can direct/write. This dystopian future flick with post-Reality-Bites Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman tells the story of a society where children are engineered for superiority and anything organic is inferior.
  2. Minority Report (2002) – I weep at the perfection of this film. Spielberg directs Tom Cruise, who plays a cop in a future where crimes can be seen before they occur. The system is perfect, the flaws are human.
  3. Bladerunner (1982) – Cult classic by Ridley Scott starring Harrison Ford and Sean Young (before she was scary). Ford tracks down 4 human “replicants” who’ve hijacked a ship in space and are returning to look for their creator.

Kisses and Hugs,
The MovieAngel


4 responses »

  1. Raymond Woods says:

    Good Stuff, Better than a lot of the other blogs out there

    • movieangel1 says:

      Thanks! I’ve recently discovered its just as fun to watch a bad movie as it is to watch a good one. Some movies are so aggressively bad that they just beg to be ripped to shreds lol

  2. Steve says:

    So this movie didn’t bring the sexy back at all? Cry me a river!

    I think I’m out.

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