There are plenty of good ideas in Andrew Niccol’s sci-fi romp, what we would do if time were a currency and how our lives would be affected if any second we could just drop dead but can it follow up on its premise? We follow Will (Timberlake), a young man who doesn’t have a lot of time on his hands (or his arm). We are introduced to a world you stop aging by the time you reach the age of 25 and time becomes currency (you get a year to begin with). Through a series of coincidental events Will ends up with over a century of time and is being hunted down a division of police known as The Time Keepers (led by Cillian Murphy). Things get even more complicated when Will kidnaps socialite Sylvia (Seyfried).
Despite its high concept plot, interesting cast the film is unspeakably dull. The major problem with the film is the script, it has poured all it’s strengths into working on the concept but when it comes to characters, plot or pacing it completely falls flat on it’s face, the biggest offence of which is Seyfried’s character Sylvia who is completely underdeveloped and encounters every “poor little rich girl” stereotype known to film (so much so that she is even called “poor little rich girl” at one point). Timberlake and Murphy don’t fare well either, neither put in bad performances but they really don’t have much to work with.
Niccol’s direction leaves much to be desired, the film often looks like it was shot as a made for TV film, there is no grand scale to the movie, even the epic climax looks incredibly stale. The film uses little colour, relying heavily on darker tones and the costume design looks like a cheap Matrix rip off, relying on big leather jackets (the scenes within The Time Keepers offices look like they’ve come straight out of a 2000 straight to video effort). For a film that is supposed to introduce us to a brand new world, it certainly does a good job of making it look vile.
It’s a shame that after working on such great films like Gattaca and The Truman Show that Niccol has wasted his time on rubbish like this (though it is not surprising since he was also heavily involved with the equally atrocious S1m0ne). There are few redeeming features that could save this film, in fact the only one is the premise is highly interesting, it’s the only thing that keeps the audience gripped throughout the movie, just a shame about the execution. One to miss.
A series of useless deleted scenes and a mockumentary featuring characters from the film explaining the world in which the film is set, a nice idea but so badly done that it comes off as a laughable affair.