Writer/Director: Andrew Niccol
Running time: 109 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12
UK Release date: 1st November 2011
Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 20th November 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is another film I have wanted to see for some time. I loved the ideas behind it and hoped it could deliver on the great promise it held. Sadly (for me at least) it only just made the mark but there were some great ideas and some interesting moments along the way (more of that later). The Writer/Director Andrew Niccol, who has worked on such films as; Gattaca, Lord of War and the rather excellent The Truman Show (amongst others), delivers here a ‘by the book’ action thriller with some elements of Robin Hood and Bonnie and Clyde thrown in. The interesting element is the fact that the currency everyone is trading in is the amount of time they have left to live. Here’s a very brief summary.
Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives in a poorer part of town with his mother, Rachel (Olivia Wilde). They find life hard, scraping enough time to last each day. A chance meeting with a rich man, Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer), who has a death wish leaves Will with over a hundred years to play with. His mother having ‘timed out’ he decides its time to get a little revenge on the rich who live in luxury in another zone of the city, New Greenwich. The police in the form of Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) are interested in talking to Will about the death of Hamilton. He makes it to New Greenwich and there he makes a large amount of time playing poker with the exceedingly wealthy Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser). With the police closing in Will kidnaps Weis’s daughter, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) and heads back home. And this is where I’ll leave it.
On the performance front, I thought Cillian Murphy and Amanda Seyfried stood out with Justin Timberlake lacking the required screen presence to carry it off (IMO). I thought Michael William Freeman who had a small role as bad guy Nardin did a good job of playing a very believable loathsome thug. With virtually everyone on screen being around the same age (25), barring the occasional kid, I found this one quite odd to look at (even a bit ageist! – just a joke, honest). It’s pretty well made with some great ideas behind the plot and even some great dialogue thrown in here and there but at the end of the day it just failed to get over that mark. It’s not that it’s a bad film, the problem is, it’s just not the great film it deserved to be.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED… just.
My score: 6.4/10
IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 127,563 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 53/100: (Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 51/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 59,584 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Will Salas: I don't have time. I don't have time to worry about how it happened. It is what it is. We're genetically engineered to stop aging at 25. The trouble is, we live only one more year, unless we can get more time. Time is now the currency. We earn it and spend it. The rich can live forever. And the rest of us? I just want to wake up with more time on my hand than hours in the day.
Henry Hamilton: How old are you? In real time?
Will Salas: 28.
Henry Hamilton: I'm 105.
Will Salas: Good for you. You won't see 106, you have too many more nights like tonight.
Henry Hamilton: You are right. But the day comes when you've had enough. Your mind can be spent, even if your body's not. We want to die. We need to.
Will Salas: That's your problem? You've been alive too long? You ever known anyone who's died?
Henry Hamilton: For a few to be immortal, many must die.
Will Salas: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Henry Hamilton: You really don't know, do you? Everyone can't live forever. Where would we put them? Why do you think there are time zones? Why do you think taxes and prices go up the same day in the ghetto? The cost of living keeps rising to make sure people keep dying. How else could there be men with a million years while most live day to day? But the truth is... there's more than enough. No one has to die before their time. If you had as much time as I have on that clock, what would you do with it?
Will Salas: I'd stop watching it. I can tell you one thing. If I had all that time, I sure as hell wouldn't waste it.
Ulysse: You'd steal from your own father?
Sylvia Weis: Is it stealing if it's already stolen?
Will Salas: No one should be immortal if even one person has to die.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
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