In Time (2011)

In Time (2011) wasn’t awful, it was pretty good…  but a disappointment.

The movie is about a society where everyone lives to age 25 and dies unless they get more time.  You can get more time by stealing it, earning it, or getting it from someone who gives it away.  Time takes the place of money.  It costs 4 minutes for a cup of coffee, etc..  Of course, in this society as in any other, the rich have more than they need and the poor die in the streets when their time run’s out.  The rich also control how the system works for everyone.

Timberlake lives in the ghetto but obtains a century of time and takes a ride to “Greenwich Town” to see how the 1% lives.  That’s where he meets Seyfried who’s the daughter of one of the richest man in the world.

The movie has a great start by immediately developing an emotional connection with Timberlake.  His relationship with Seyfried is developed pretty well too.  There’s also a “Robin Hood” theme that’s fun.  It’s something you’ve seen many times before with the rich girl hooking up with the poor kid and robbing banks together; but that doesn’t make it bad.  Overall I give it a mild recommendation.  6/9


So why was it a disappointment?  It could have been much better.

There is a major flaw in the sub-plot with Cillian Murphy’s character.  He’s a “timekeeper” which is something like a cop.  It’s an understatement to say he’s relentless in his pursuit of Timberlake and Seyfried, but his character is portrayed as a somewhat of a good guy underneath it all.  He’s feels like the kind of character that’s going to do something good in the end.  But he doesn’t.  You don’t just kill off a character like that without letting us know what kind of man he is.  For me it was a WTF? moment.  It was empty.

I have no problem with having him killed, but it would have been much better if I hated him.  I didn’t.  I didn’t know what to think.  If the filmmakers are going to kill him off, all they had to do was have him kill a dog, some little kids, or something like that.   Make him evil so then there’s satisfaction in his death.   Give it something that we can connect with on an emotional level.  Otherwise, the ambiguity of his character makes him nothing more that a vehicle to push the main plot along. A waste of our time.

Proper character development is essential.


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