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Responsible for writing such films as “The Truman Show” and “Gattaca” (which he also directed), Andrew Niccol has always been a source of intriguing ideas. His latest film is no less clever, taking the concept that – in the future – time has become currency.
Humans stop ageing at the age of 25. The catch is that they only have one more year left to live until they die. But you can buy extra time and soon the world is one of inequality – the rich live for centuries whilst the poor spend day to day trying to find an extra hour. Will Salas (Justin Timberlake, who is becoming an increasingly engaging screen presence) is one of the poor but a strange encounter leaves him with an extra century. Soon he begins to become a ‘Robin Hood of Time’ taking the years from the rich and adding to the lives of the poor.
There are certainly some great ideas here and – with the Occupy movement currently dominating the world news – it seems much attuned with current affairs. But sometimes the film tries to pack too much in and it can never decide if it wants to be a socialist manifesto or a slam bang action movie. And, as creative as Niccol is, he seems rather uncomfortable with some of the action set pieces and they sometimes come across as rather flat.
Still, the cast give everything their all and there is enough here that makes this one of the more interesting sci-fi films of the past year that’s reminiscent of the likes of “Source Code” and “The Adjustment Bureau.” It would certainly be worthy to use up a little bit of your precious time in going to see the movie.