Time is money. That’s a pretty old saying in business. Every minute wasted is someone’s money being wasted. In the reality at time it seems that the more money you have the more time you have. The times to go places, to have fun, to get up late or even not work for the day. The new sci-fi film, In Time take this saying literally in the world it sets up. This cool stylized sci-fi crime film sets up a future where classes rich and poor are separated by time, the ones who have and the ones who have not.
Justin Timberlake is Will Salis, a young man living day by day with his mother, Rachel played by Olivia Wilde, in the Ghetto. In this world people stop aging at 25 but they are only given 1 year to live. To get more time they have to earn it or be born with access to it. After another day of the grind at work Will meets his best friend at their favorite bar where they encounter a man buying everyone drinks with his large amount of time. A century worth of time to be exact. Will, being the street-smart good guy that he is, tries to warn the man that his showy spending is going to get him jacked. When the local time stealer comes for this guy Will saves him from the criminals and hides out with the guy in an abandoned building.
There the man, named Henry Hamilton explains he wanted to die and that no person should be immortal. Will shocked by what he hears explains how that having too much time is problem he would like to have. As they sleep there in the night Henry awakes before Will and gives him his time and leaves. As Will awakens to his new riches he see Henry fall to death before he could save him. Excited yet cautious Will tries to meet his mother to tell her the news and take her out of the Ghetto for her birthday, but it’s too late she ran out time and died in his arms. He then turns his focus on the rich who have more than enough time for everyone.
Justin Timberlake does a great job on screen holding the attention of the audience and making the character likable and easy to root for in his struggle. He shows the right amount of confidence and vulnerability that is right for this movie. Amanda Seyfried plays Sylvia Weis, a rich girl who’s curious of Will’s true origins in the beginning and learns about how the other sides lives during Will’s run from the law.
Seyfried is ok but it’s really hard to take her seriously with the arc they gave her character. She goes from spoiled rich girl to being a Bonnie to Will’s Clyde. Vincent Kartheiser plays Seyfried’s father Phillppe Weis a man with more than a millennia of time. Kartheiser is essentially here to play Pete Campbell from Mad Men without any of the redeeming parts of that character.
The other really stand out performance is from Cillian Murphy who plays Raymond Leon, a Time Keeper who jobs is essentially that of police. He plays a cop that is cynical and weary and has accepted that way things are in world. He does though never give up and does his job to the best. Murphy plays him an authority figure that might be corrupt but as you go throughout the film has more layers that he liked to show.
Andrew Niccol wrote and directed a very slick film. The costumes and art direction are very pleasing to look at with it’s very angled and neutral post modern European style setting for the rich and the very dirty and gritty mid 90s feeling ghetto LA look for the poor. Overall this film isn’t heavy sci fi but it is a pretty fun ride and good sci fi film with some good use of themes and concepts that are resonating with current goings on in the world. This CW meets Phillip K. Dick style story might not be for everyone but for some it’s good time in the seats.
Final Grade is B
Originally Published at Reel Film News