Written by Zen Terrelonge
(Rating: 12A, 109 mins) Starring – Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Alex Pettyfer.
Sci-fi thriller In Time has a rather cool concept, which has been compared to Logan’s Run. Set in the unspecified future, humans only age up to 25, thus preserving their youthful appearance. Two thumbs up, a big cheer for eternal youth and huzzahs all around? Wrong.
When that quarter of a century birthday comes, a body clock is started providing the user with a year left to live unless they can make more time to stay alive. That’s right, time has replaced money as the world’s currency and as the poor die, the wealthy can live forever.
This is a problem for Will Salas (Timberlake) and his mother (Olivia WIlde) who live in the Dayton ‘ghetto’ where people are mugged for their time and paid a pittance for their hard work. A serious problem when the everyday cost of living is going up.
New Greenwich is the most exclusive Time Zone and it’s where Will plans on taking his mum someday when they finally gather enough time to leave their town.
Of course the film has real world comparisons to draw upon, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer but what can be done about it. As long as the fat cats get their milk, the mice are left to forage for cheese and that’s the way it plays out in the film.
One night in Will’s local bar, a suited out-of-towner named Henry Hamilton is spotted flashing his time around and he’s packing over a century on that coveted wrist of his, something the locals can only dream of and it’s only a matter of time until the dreamcatcher arrives.
The dreamcatcher I speak of is Fortis (Pettyfer) mob boss of the Minutemen, thugs that steal time from others by force. A conflict arises and Will helps Henry escape, much to the anger of Fortis and in turn he finds himself on his revenge list.
Henry gives Will the truth about the time system and when Will falls asleep, by way of thanks he transfers his remaining time to Will and leaves their safehouse. By the time Will wakes up there’s little he can do but watch Harry’s clock run out and leave the scene of the crime.
Unfortunately for Will he now has the Timekeepers on his case (police in other words), who are led by the relentless Raymond Leon (Murphy).
Will leaves Dayton in search of righting the injustice of the system and heads to New Greenwich, where he finds bargaining chip Sylvia (Seyfried) a pampered princess that is spoiled silly by her father Phillipe (Kartheiser).
Will kidnaps Sylvia as he makes up a plan to crack the system but with Timekeepers and Minutemen dogging his every move, will he manage it In Time?
The film is well executed with the smell of desperation in the ghetto while the essence of snobbery comes in abundance with the introduction of New Greenwich.
The future is subtle, the film has a green haze about it much like The Matrix to provide the ‘digital age’ vibe but as for hover cars and jetpacks there’s none of that, just some slightly meaty car engines and technology monitoring the Time Zones.
JT is brilliant, he’s affable, energetic and convincing proving himself a true leading man capable of trying out new roles following his stint in romcom Friends With Benefits.
Seyfried is the naive, rich girl that has been seen before in the likes of Mean Girls just this time she isn’t an airhead, she’s merely led a sheltered life.
Murphy is a thorn in Will’s side, he won’t quit and is waiting at every turn in a bid to enforce the laws he so believes in.
Kartheiser is a snivelling money man, the type that believes capital is the solution for anything but he didn’t count on Will or Raymond to visit his doorstep.
Pettyfer does a good job as the English villain, he doesn’t get as much screentime as the others but he doesn’t need it. The scenes he is in show just how ruthless he is as he forages for scraps of time in a bid to flush out Will.
If a fun futuristic thriller is what you seek, look no further.
In Time is in cinemas now.