In Time shows the monetary value to time, and how using time as currency can end your life real quick. Would you spend minutes of your life for a cup of coffee…or even sex?
Based in a futuristic society where technology overpowers the population, people are genetically engineered and by age 25, stop aging and have one year of free time to live before they die. It is during that year, they can use any and all methods to get more time. This is not like today’s idea of currency where it is a tangible asset. Time is constantly moving. So not only do you need time to live, but you can’t be lazy if you have it.
The reality of running out of time is an everyday thought for the blue-collar factory worker, Will Salas, (Justin Timberlake). After saving a rich man at a bar and rewarded 100 years, Will finds the law is chasing him. The law, a.k.a Timekeepers, are led by a suave and urbane villain played by Cillian Murphy. In this futuristic world, the class system is broken into times ones. Each zone costing increasingly more money to enter. As Will makes his way to the wealthiest of time zones, he meets Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) who is the daughter of the richest man on Earth, Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser).
The relationship between Sylvia and Will is one typically found in action films. The woman is always beautiful and usually from wealthy upbringing, but finds herself rebelling from the mundane life she lives. The man is always falsely accused for some heinous crime, from lower or working class backgrounds and usually has some personal vendetta with the villain.
As Will and Sylvia escape the Timekeepers, we are emerged into a world of gunfire, violence and, oddly enough, good deeds. We also see how this timekeeping society is really a method used by the Elite class to exterminate the poor.
The film takes an unusual Robin Hood twist when Will and Sylvia start handing out free time to those in need. But just don’t forget that with all these chases, fights and good deeds, both Will and Sylvia’s clocks are ticking. I must say, the one aspect I enjoyed most in this film was the realistic time element.
This is something that we rarely In a film of this genre. Using actual time doesn’t just make a movie more believable, but it adds tension and adrenalin to the movie watching experience. Try watching a Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme movie and count down whenever there is some sort of bomb or explosive timer…it appears that time freezes and there is always enough time so save everyone. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about ‘In Time.’
Although the film was unusual and well executed by director Andrew Niccol (Lord of War, Gattaca), there were many unanswered questions I had; for example, the year. The film is obviously set the future with human engineering and clocks that are implanted in your skin, yet the cars seem to be from the 60s and time is stored on what seem to be cassette tapes.
I was most disappointed with the ordinary character of Will. Timberlake is really starting to show his true acting qualities. He made the Social Network one of my favorite films, but now I have to painfully watch him be ordinary and shallow in this role. If only Niccol saw him for the true and deep actor that he is, not the singing stage performer he once was.