Receiving a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you’d be forgiven for giving ‘In Time’ a wide berth. Allow me to explain why you should ignore this, watch the film and then make your own mind up whether 37% was fair.
Most Dystopian futures are similar in the way they are portrayed, pollution filled mega cities with areas off limit to anyone without funds (Elysium as a prime example); ‘In Time’ changes up the formula by adding in a dash of Logan’s Run to the typical rich versus poor future, giving it a novel direction to move in.
The first two minutes of the film gives you a basic idea of what is going on: As a species, a decision has been made to end the aging process at 25 and a year to be given to every person. That year can be extended through hard work inside the factories of poorer suburbs but often leads to early death. Of course this doesn’t affect the rich who are ‘time rich’ with bank balances making them almost immortal and often subjects to robbery, murder or blackmail.
Our main character Will (portrayed by Justin Timberlake) lives in the Ghetto, going from day to day with often hours or minutes remaining on the clock. Living with his mother (Olivia Wilde) they get by and are seen on screen celebrating her 50th Birthday, something we are led to believe is unusual for the suburb.
Rather than detailing every bit of the film scene by scene, let me speed this up a bit:
- Will saves a man trying to commit suicide.
- Said man has 116 years on the clock and is tired of living.
- Queue Will being donated all 116 years and rich man committing suicide.
- Mum dies due to Bus Driver being a jerk / just doing his job.
- Will heads to the richest parts of the country where he earns almost immortality in a poker game.
- Poker host invites Will to party at his house.
- Insert love interest who fancies him but hates him when realising he’s not who she thinks (Played by Amanda Seyfried).
- Introduce Time Police (lead played by the awesome Cillian Murphy).
- Throw in a little escape action and kidnapping.
- Add a little carjacking and dawn of realisation that Daddy is actually the bad guy.
- Plot twist where both now decide to performs heists at time banks to give the poor much needed time.
- Now a little revenge against Daddy before…
- The final show down with a Time Cop who should have kept an eye on his clock..
That is a seriously condensed version of the film but pretty much covers the entire story, it might not sound amazing BUT give it a chance. It’s rare that you come across a film that tries to do something new and In Time does just that. Off the top of my head? The closest to In Time that I could come up with was Logan’s Run.
Justin Timberlake isn’t my favourite of actors often seeming bored or emotionless in roles and In Time is no different, his performance could be considered lack luster however I think this is more his acting style than anything else. Let’s not forget that other actors such as Keanu Reeves have had a fair few films where you could describe their acting with similar thoughts.
The film tries something new and ultimately pulls it off; there may be no truly spectacular moments through out but when added up all together, we get an enjoyable piece of science fiction.
The final thing I will say is..
I love the clock effect on peoples arms; brilliantly simple and beautifully implemented.