05 November 2013

3 Nov- "Don't waste my time"

In Time (2011)
dir. Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, 1997)

Justin Timberlake (The Social Network, 2010)
Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens, 2011)
Johnny Galeki (Hancock, 2008)
Matt Bomer (Magic Mike, 2012)
Ray Santiago (Accepted, 2006)
Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike, 2012)
Brendan Miller (Accepted, 2006)
Yaya Alafia (The Kids are All Right, 2010)
Cillian Murphy (The Wind that Shakes the Barley, 2006)
Toby Hemingway (Black Swan, 2010)
Melissa Ordway (Ted, 2012)
Abhi Sinha (The Social Network, 2010)
Amanda Seyfried (Red Riding Hood, 2011)
Emma Fitzpatrick (The Social Network, 2010)
Vincent Kartheiser (Rango, 2011)

I watched In Time because I was looking for a fast-paced and somewhat silly action movie to while away the evening, also, my fella hadn't seen it yet. We were not disappointed.

Still, I couldn't help but imagine Andrew Niccol meeting with the producers and pitching his idea, "You guys! You know how they say 'time is money'? What if time was money?!" and the producers were like, "Run with that idea, Andy! But make it like an old-time gangster movie, too!" and Andrew Niccol did it, because money is money.

First of all, everyone in the movie itself acts as if this time/money thing is very novel, and not as if society has been carrying on this way for generations. The number of time puns is appalling and also delightful (as long as you love puns, as I do)

For example:
"Don't waste my time," said after a large amount of time is gifted to the protagonist
"You've taken years off my father's life," said to the protagonist after he wins a large amount of time in a poker game
"I'd say 'your money or your life, but since your money is your life," Said while the protagonist executes a heist
"I'm going to clean your clock," said as a thug threatens another person. Also, their gang is called the Minute-men.

On top of this, the scenery and costumes are overtly styled in a manner reminiscent of 1930s gangsters, with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried acting the parts of Bonnie & Clyde running around robbing "time banks" and driving black Lincoln Continentals.

The antagonist is the typical Jaubert-style cop (timekeeper) played by Cillian Murphy. Murphy does his best with the role, but it's still a cliche characterization, in the tradition of The Fugitive's Lieutenant Gerard, or the aforementioned character from Les Miserables. Like any of those characters living a black and white world of law-abiding morality, Murphy refuses to support the protagonists even as he detests the actions of the film's villain.

So what can I say? In Time provides the veneer of novelty while playing out a trite concept with the same reassuring tropes we've already seen over and over again. It was fun.

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