October 29, 2011
Review - " In Time " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia
Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Galecki, and Vincent
The future of In Time is grim. Humans have been genetically altered to
be born as immortal. However, there’s a catch. Humans stop aging at
age 25, and are given an automatic year on their 25th birthday. Once
that year is up, so is their life. They can work to earn more time, or
have time given to them (or stolen from them). The world’s currency is
now nothing but time. You work to earn it, you save it, you spend it,
and you’re overly cautious of just how much time you have left. The
more you have, the longer you live.
Your clock ticks down every second, visible to anyone who can see
your arm-clock. If unhidden, anyone can see your ‘worth.’ The country
has been split into ‘time zones,’ with each serving as a social order of
wealth. The higher your zone, the more time you must have. The
lower zones are nothing but poverty; people who are constantly running
out of time.
But those with time live in fear of anything that might shorten their
lives. Guns. Car accidents. Drowning. Falling. Humans aren’t
immune to death, and those with enough money are immortal as long
as they don’t engage in dangerous activities.
Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives in the poverty time zone. He rarely
has more than a day of time left on his clock, and must work hard for
every extra minute. Compassionate about life and those around him,
Salas is given the opportunity of a lifetime (pun intended) when a wealthy man gifts him all of his time. But when Salas’
mother runs out of time, he becomes frustrated with the system and determined to take it down.
With the help of Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), Salas finds the means to take on the wealthiest zone and give their time to
the poor. In a mix of Bonnie and Clyde meets Robin Hood, Salas and Weis form an unlikely pair focused on taking down the
There are many aspects of In Time which work incredibly well. The acting by everyone but Timberlake is impressive,
including Timekeeper Cillian Murphy and Vincent Kartheiser, both of whom play men much older than they look. Niccol’s
particular about having each actor at least act their age.
There’s also the directing, which never seems to miss a beat. In the poverty time zone, there are also a group of thugs
dressed as 1940’s gangsters, which might not offer a whole lot to the script itself but do show that Niccol still hasn’t lost his
vision. He has a keen eye for the flare and dramatic, and his idea of hoodrats is stylistically hip.
In Time is a much flashier version of Gattaca, with each film having their subtle differences while tackling essentially the same
issues. A sequel to Gattaca may have ultimately worked better, as parts of In Time simply don’t add up. Often the film feels
like it is trying too hard to fit a certain
Hollywood mold, rather than diving head-first
into the political issues of wealth, poverty, and
the human existence.
During the movie, Vincent Kartheiser's heavy
drops a quote saying "for anyone to be
immortal, many must die." While self-serving
to his character, he brings up a good point
that is layered in the old adage of "survival of
the fittest." While he poetically means that
immortality only exists with the inevitability of
death, it's really an allegory to how the rich
are only made rich by the existence of poverty.
Those who are looking for a fun, simple way to
spend an evening with a glitzy film filled with
25 year old stars and models will enjoy the ride.