Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's next on my list? In Time

Oh boy... this is a hard one. But, let us go in order and not jump ahead. This movie had a lot, and I mean a lot of faults. Starting from the gigantic plot holes, all the way to the sometimes silly dialogue. However, the idea itself and casting is somewhat outstanding. So, let us not put off it any longer, here it is:

"It is what it is. We are built genetically to not grow old after 25 years. Problem is that we only have 1 year after that. Unless we get more time. Time became the exchange value. (...) The rich can live eternally. The rest hope to wake up with more time on our hand than are hours in a day."

This movie revolves around the adventures of a futuristic Bonnie & Clyde/Robin Hood-like-couple. Will Salas is a 28 year old boy who lives with his mom Rachel. He works in a factory that produces little memory flash drives that can take away your time or give it to you, whichever you choose. One night Will helps out a man, Henry Hamilton (who has over a century on his hand), who as a reward tells him that in order for rich people to be able to live so long some had to die. Will tells him that if he had the kind of time he does, he would change the world, because nobody should die. While he is asleep, Hamilton transfers his time to Will and let's his timer count down. Will's mom dies and he goes to the rich zone. He lives in luxury, meets Sylvia and when the police, who believe he killed Hamilton, take his time back, he kidnaps Sylvia and travels back to his zone. Once there, the two become a couple and start robbing her father's time banks and give away free time to everyone. Cop guy tries to stop them, but he times out too and the two are able to save themselves just in time to stay alive. Their mission of breaking down the time barriers succeeds and they remain bank robbers who steal from the rich to give to the poor.

Biggest problem I had, was that everyone looks like they just stepped out from the cover of Maxim magazine (and Olivia was on a Maxim cover, so pun intended!). I mean I get that they all HAVE to look like they are 25 years old, but there are plenty of people who are ass ugly at 25! They shouldn't naturally look like this! That said, let us go in order of characters. Will was entertaining. Justin Timberlake keeps getting tougher roles and he seems to take the challenge very nicely. His character also had flaws, but they can be overlooked, because being the main character his arc was almost complete.

Will's mom: Rachel. First off, wonderful performance by Olivia Wilde. Supposedly she is 50 years old in the movie and trust me, even if she doesn't look it, she plays it perfectly. You feel that she is a mother, the worried kind none the less. And you don't question why this gorgeous woman has a son, I was surprised she didn't have more! Unfortunately she is the first one who gets killed off... why? Probably to piss me off. I was so damn angry that I had to turn off the movie for a little bit. We are led to believe that she had to die in order for Will to move on, out of town, into a different time zone. Why again, you ask? Well, my friend I have no idea! After Will receives that shit load of time we all think that he is going to go to the rich people and make everything right. Does he do this? Nope. Does he mourn his mom for more than 5 seconds? Nope. Only the second when his precious time is taken back by the police that he gets off his ass and does something useful! In conclusion, killing his mom was a total asshole move on the part of the writers! I am sure that they intended something very deep and moving with it, but by making Will do absolutely nothing about it, instead making him spend his time like he just won the lottery: was weird. However, the way she dies is very moving. She and Will are running towards each other with their hands out (because that is how one can transfer time), and you stop breathing for a second, waiting for them to reach each other, and when they don't you do cry. It's awful. But this scene is repeated in the end, when Sylvia and Will are running to the border so they can make it. Will recharges from the cop's car and the two run towards each other and when Sylvia jumps at him... it's like all the stress in the world just fell from your heart. She made it. They both made it. It was truly a breathtaking moment for me.

So, in the big city he meets Sylvia the daughter of the richest man in, basically, the whole world. She tells him about all the adventures and risks she would like to take. She is what a real person is like. When she actually gets to live the risks she is freaking scared, she basically cries, she just wants to go back to her parents but Will won't let her. And you know that in every single action movie the one who gets kidnapped will eternally fall in love with her kidnapper, it is the way it is supposed to go! However, this was the first movie where I felt that she connected with him out of fear. He might be my kidnapper, but I also know that he is actually a nice boy who just lost his mom, and he could've easily killed me, yet he risked his life for me and still does everything to keep me alive. Also, their attraction and her admiration towards this stranger is stated from the beginning, so their relationship wasn't a big shock. This was the one plot of the movie that I liked. But, there was some idiocracy as well. Being now people who have to run for their lives, they take off time where Will teachers Sylvia to shoot. Now, do you really have time for that? As in time you can waste? The previous day they were seconds away from dying! That was unpleasant. I know that in movies the heroin is simply capable of shooting a gun and her skills are never explained, which is bothersome, but in a movie where literally every second counts I really don't think you should have a scene where you point out why she is able to use a gun!

Sylvia's dad Phillippe Weis, played by Vincent Kartheiser, was another fantastic performance. He is our bad guy, even if all along we are led to believe that it is cop guy, or the Minutemen (I'll get to them in a second). Just like Rachel, he is over 50 years old and he sells it perfectly. He is a worried father, but the bad kind, because he won't give up his precious time even if it means losing his daughter. That's all I have to say. He was by far the most entertaining character in the movie, being the only one who's subplot was complete from beginning to the end. Another person of interest is Will's father, Mr. Salas. Who they say tried to cancel the differences between time zones just like Will is now. We are never told who he was, how cop guy knew him, how he and Rachel met or why we should care in the very least that he was alive. It makes no sense. We are told that Will is just like him but we aren't given anything to be able to actually compare them. I don't even know if he was dead or alive it is so irrelevant!

Cop guy: Raymond Leon. Well, Cillian Murphy is a brilliant actor. That said, his arc as a character had one too many flaws. We find out that he is just like Will: he is from one of the low kinds of time zones but his job is to keep others where they belong. We also find out that he knew Will's father, as I mentioned above. Is that important? Not really. In the end you feel for the guy, because he is just doing what he believes is right. His job. He doesn't know that Hamilton donated his time to Will, and Will and Sylvia becoming bank/time robbers also points to the fact that he probably got it by force. He needs to stop them because by the word of the law they are doing something that is highly illegal. He only dies because cop's don't keep a lot of time on their hands in order to not tempt Minutemen to attack them, and he forgets to recharge before he tries to stop Will. His sense of justice is admirable, however, since he is the perfect example of someone from a low time zone being able to get out and make it in the 'real' world, you question why doesn't he just let Will go? (Will also saves his life once.) He says that it is his job to keep people in their time zones, but wouldn't that imply that you shouldn't have left either? It's a bit egocentric and hypocritical. His death is somewhat sad, but then again, by this point you just think of him as an asshole, so yeah, bye!

The Minutemen are a kind of mafia of the time zones. They fight you for your time and even if you won't fight them, they either kill you with a gun or take your time anyway. Their contribution to the story is plainly stupid. They only manage to get in Will's way every chance they get. They piss you off as shit, being that not only every cop from the world is looking for him anyway, but they get killed off in a three minute long scene. So, that was pointless! Also, their leader, Fortis, played by Alex Pettyfer, is supposed to be 75 years old, however, he is as stupid as an 18 year old. He does not play his part well. He makes rookie mistakes and he is boring.
More problems: in the end Will and Sylvia are running to cross to another time line because they are about to die. Do different time zones give you more time? It is never mentioned why they should cross. Moreover, when Will was travelling to Greenwich he had to constantly pay. Did he have to pay because he was also receiving time? In Greenwich people immediately notice that he is from out of town because he is always in a hurry. They never call the police on him, they don't mind taking his time, why is it important then? Of course it is one of the qualities that Sylvia is attracted to, but why is it important if anybody else notices? Plus, in one of the very first scenes Will and his friend (who by the way dies because of him, good going Will!), pay 3 minutes for a cup of coffee. Now, before that Rachel gave him 30 minutes so he can have a decent lunch, and he starts to give it away for coffee? Out of all the important elements in the food chain, you had to go with coffee? People CAN live without coffee!!!! Lastly, I hated that everyone (besides the main characters), had a perfect round age: 50, 75, 105. I mean, how'bout 36? Or 71? You either don't count or you do, but seriously? Be creative!

Every single movie that portrays the future makes it really dark and depressing, which is this hidden but FREAKING OBVIOUS message that "THE FUTURE IS GOING TO SUCK UNLESS YOU DO SOMETHING, LIKE RIGHT NOW!". This has been going on ever since Blade Runner came out, all the way through the horribleness of Demolition Man up to this movie. You know why people love Back to the Future Part II? Because the picture it portrays of the future is not depressing! It is something to look forward to. We already get all the messages: we are ruining our planet. People obviously don't care and those who do will only be bothered that the very few minutes of freedom they have and decide to spend on this movie will be transformed into a 90 minute commercial of the planet being doomed! I got the message movie, it was poorly delivered, but I got it. The future is going to suck. Deal with it!

So, final thoughts? See it, tell me what you thought! It is very entertaining if you don't get hung up on the details. But who am I kidding? Of course you will! Until the next item on my list!

PS: Sorry about the "time" jokes :P.
_ _ _ _  _ _ _ _

Will Salas - Justin Timberlake
Sylvia Weis - Amanda Seyfried
Raymond Leon - Cillian Murphy
Rachel Salas - Olivia Wilde
Phillippe Weis - Vincent Kartheiser
Minutemen, Fortis - Alex Pettyfer
Henry Hamilton - Matt Bomer

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