Fast-forward to a future where humans only live to age 25 before being forced to buy more time, slaving away to do so. Time rather than money is the coin of the realm and the rich here get to seemingly live forever. What they need is a movement to occupy the banks housing the sands of time; instead they get Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried as a would-be Bonnie & Clyde team that stumbles upon more time than they know what to do with and decide to steal even more.
This should have been the true breakout role for Timberlake, who has already transformed himself into a performer of note beyond music thanks to his surprising comedic chops (largely via Saturday Night Live) and his soulful dramatic work in The Social Network.
But with In Time, when paired with the less-than-box-office-friendly Friends With Benefits, it seems that he’s not quite ready for prime A-list time in the Hollywood constellation. He gamely throws himself into the implausible gun-toting action but fails to find the right emotional beats and rhymes.
The same goes for writer-director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War), who knows his way around a tricky premise but with In Time ends up wasting his precious commodity on the action hijinks, which are not as inspired as we might expect and cannot beat the clock with the inherently rich human drama. Grade: D+