Perhaps like me you enjoyed Kiwi writer/director Andrew Niccol’s 1997 debut Gattacca, which dealt with the philosophical and actual physical dangers of genetic engineering in utopian/dystopian futures. In 2011, he had another crack at the same hot-potato issue with In Time, the premise here being that at the age of 25, people are granted one more year and then programmed to die, although extra time can be bought, which means the rich live longer. Justin Timberlake plays a factory worker with little hope of buying extended life who — and I won’t say how — accesses an additional 116 years and decides to use this time to overturn the temporal caste system. With a hip cast including Cillian Murphy, Amanda Seyfried and Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser, Niccol’s fascinating, allegorical concept almost carries the story to its conclusion, but it’s made repetitive by one too many races against time (although I guess that was inevitable). Pop idol Timberlake is proving a creditable actor, and you’ll root for him in this outing.
The heart-stopping sequel: 57 years on, humans have returned to the planet where Sigourney Weaver first encountered the killer species. Rematch, anyone? As if destroying a single deadly monster wasn’t bad enough, Sigourney Weaver and a platoon of marines now have a whole colony of them to kill in this brilliant sequel to Alien.
So what would you do if your girlfriend started going out with Russell Brand? Jason Segel is the guy who goes to Hawaii to get away from it all, only to be stuck there with his ex (Kristen Bell) and her new love machine.