Viewed – 08 November 2011 Cinema
I never saw this coming. Former boy band member turned celebrity lethario and solo artist Justin Timberlake making for a credible movie star. I only previously saw him in The Social Network, and even in that small part – he seemed a natural. This however puts him in the spotlight, and to be brutally honest, I liked what I saw.
Timberlake plays a man in an impoverished ghetto. Due to over-population a law has been passed that gives everyone on earth a ticking clock on their arm, that begins counting down when they reach 25, and only gives them one more year to live – unless they can earn, steal or gamble to get more time. As with money, poor people must try to survive by making back what ‘time’ they can, whilst in rich neighbourhoods, time is endless and sold back to the poor at a high price. Timberlake decides to escape the ghetto and attempt to make a difference.
This is one ingenious concept. Everything about it works brilliantly, and although the near-future landscape is little more than blacked out muscle cars and a bit of fancy computer graphics on walls (giving more of a tv show look at times), the simplicity here is all the more welcome. It makes way for sharper character studies, with a villainous Cillian Murphy as a police-like Time Keeper and a drop-dead sexy Amanda Seyfried as a rich tycoon’s rebellious daughter. Director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca) delivers a smart script peppered with some good action (although effects work is a little lacking) and lots of energy. Towards the end I felt the movie didn’t really know where to go, or what the protagonists were ultimately trying to achieve. Yet the performances here are solid, especially Murphy and Timberlake who make for a great cat & mouse partnership, and overall I enjoyed it a lot.
Verdict: 4 /5