Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Actors: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer
Cinematography: Roger Deakins
Editing: Zach Staenberg
When I saw the trailer for In Time I was excited to see it. It certainly looks like a cool premise, one that many people can relate to in a weird way. It’s set in a future where aging stops at 25, but every person is only given a year after that to live in order to control the population. The currency of the world is no longer measured in dollars but in time. The rich have millions of years, the poor live day to day. It examines our current culture’s infatuation with looking young and our completely unbalanced economy.
But don’t walk into the theater expecting some deep philosophical look at beauty and it’s price. It’s essentially an action movie with an interesting science fiction storyline. Does In Time live up to it’s attractive narrative?
The story begins with Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), a man who lives in the poorest time zone or the ghetto. He lives day by day, like most of the people in that district of time. A man with hundreds of years, Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer), shows up in the zone hoping to die. When Will saves him from time stealing thugs called “minute men”, he decides to give away his time. Will must fight in order to keep the time he was given, but he also finds another purpose in distributing time where it is needed. He resists the idea that in order for some to be immortal, many must die. And so his crusade to change the system begins.
There are some good chase scenes in this movie. Will Silas is forced to run away from a bunch of different people throughout the whole movie, and I love a good car chase. It seems like Will is always hustling his way out of something, fighting against his limited amount of time. There are some sexy scenes between him and Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) that are fun to watch, if that’s the kind of action that you want.
I love the idea of this movie because it almost seems with all our crazy advances and plastic surgery that one day we will actually have this happen to us. Live forever as a 25 year old? Sounds like a good idea. I’m sure a lot of people would definitely kill for that. Population control wouldn’t be a problem with the rich being able to buy all the years they want and the poor just dying at 26. They probably don’t have any more stupid reality shows about crazy big families. That’s definitely a plus. It’s a cool idea, one that you will enjoy thinking about even after you’ve left the theater.
I’m a big fan of Justin Timberlake. Who doesn’t love those awesome Saturday Night Live videos? His turn as an action hero is very fun to see. He’s got this swagger to him that makes it interesting to watch whether he’s in the middle of a car chase or a high stakes poker game. His character is very much the Robin Hood stereotype, he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. You’ll definitely be rooting for him.
The Old People
The whole premise of the movie is that everyone should look 25. Unfortunately, they cast a bunch of older actors to play 25 year olds. I believe some of them: Justin Timberlake has that baby face, Amanda Seyfried looks young, and Alex Pettyfer is actually 21. Everyone else is over 25 and they definitely look it. Cillian Murphy is the one of the villains, playing the cop/timekeeper hunting down Timberlake’s Will Salas. There is no way in hell that he is 25. The same goes for many of the random extras and people walking around. I suppose it is unrealistic to expect that everyone would be a beautiful 25 year old model, but what’s the point of genetically engineering people if they’re not going to be perfect? I mean, if you’re going to have the concept that people can’t age then you should at least make an effort to have everyone look the part.
What starts as a cool premise ends up boiling down to a pretty standard story. Will Salas and his kidnapped gal pal Sylvia end up becoming a Bonnie and Clyde duo, robbing banks of time instead of cash. They also give most of the time they steal back to the poor, like a modern day Robin Hood. It’s enjoyable, but with an awesome sci-fi concept you really expect something more. I felt like, while it was an okay action movie, it didn’t really go as far as I wanted it to go.
As much as I like Justin Timberlake, I still have a hard time seeing him do anything dramatic. He’s great with the action scenes, but when things slow down I can’t help but remember how much I loved him in N’SYNC. Timberlake can definitely sing his heart out on songs like “Cry Me a River”, but I really do not like the one scene where he is required to cry. It just looks a bit silly and it took me out of what should have been a sad moment. He should probably stick to the Ryan Reynold’s mold of action hero, the wise cracking smart guy who you root for because he’s just so cute. It would suit his talents a lot better, and I wouldn’t have to watch him try to cry ever again.
Overall: 2.5 stars out of 5
In Time is a fun action movie that is enjoyable to watch. While it borrows from other stereotypical tales of steal from the rich and give to the poor, it’s still a cool film. Lots of chase scenes, high tension poker rounds, and pretty people are enough to make up for a lack of deep thought. I recommend you watch it with a bunch of friends and a good cold beer in your hand.