Pretty cast. Potent premise. Piss-poor execution. And so dies In Time, a wannabe sci-fi epic set in the near future where time literally is money. Filmmaker Andrew Niccol, who earned praise for directing Gattaca and co-writing The Truman Show, sees a world where everyone stops aging after 25 (like in L.A. but without the need for plastic surgeons), at which point they die or lie, cheat, steal and kill to earn more time – the years, months, weeks, hours and seconds ticking off like digital clocks on their forearms. Justin Timberlake plays Will Salas, a ghetto working stiff who lives day to day, dreaming of getting his mom (Olivia Wilde) – you heard me – to a better life. The greedy capitalists are repped by Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser) – that's right, Mad Men's Pete Campbell is the villain – who's got centuries on his arm. He's like Klaus on The Vampire Diaries but with a Bernie Madoff complex. Naturally, there's a love interest for Will, Weis' daughter Sylvia, played by Amanda Seyfried in a red wig that saps her beauty. Naturally, Will aims to bring Sylvia's daddy down, giving Timberlake a chance to show his action chops, which reveal he's in top shape (we knew that) but don't exploit the acting gifts he displayed in The Social Network. Then our lovers get chased by car and on foot by the Timekeeper, a determined cop played by Cillian Murphy as if he were Javert in a revival of Les Miserables. There's a lot of huffing and puffing to convince audiences who can't Occupy Wall Street to occupy a seat at In Time. Don't buy the time. Check your forearm. My guess is you'll find you've lost two hours you'll never get back.
Stephen Vaughan/Twentieth Century FOX