Review: In Time

A short, straightforward but quite unique science fiction thriller from the director of Gattaca.

In Time is a small film with big ideas, and straight off the starting line I appreciated its metaphorical future world, a future where money does not exist and the most precious commodity is time. Your time. Everyone is born with a genetic “clock”, you stop ageing at your twenty-fifth birthday, at that point you must earn minutes, hours, days, even years, to prolong your life… for eternity perhaps.

The film spends a lot of time setting up this future, and the class war that is present between those who live day-by-day, at risk of dying at any moment, and those with centuries of life to live, taking it easy. The metaphor for our present financial crisis is blunt like a sledge hammer, but I like it.

Our working class hero, Will (played efficiently by Justin Timberlake) finds his run-down existence changed when a man gives him over a century of time, and the attention of a Time Keeper (think law enforcer) played by Cillian Murphy. What escalates is a cat and mouse chase where there is always a time limit, and a Bonnie and Clyde meet Robin Hood sensibility.

While I did enjoy the film’s stark and near-future qualities, with retro-styled cars that whirr with electric sounding motors, the second act feels a little lost, and the third becomes relatively straightforward. When our heroes are on the run, it becomes less interesting than when getting immersed in the created world.

It starts out as a very bleak outlook for the future, metaphor or not, and I like that a lot. Some people may find it a little pretentious and deliberate (a world full of beautiful twenty-somethings, despite being played by older actors..) but overall though I did enjoy it.


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