In Time

(2011)

Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Review: In Time

Transcript for Review: In Time

CHRISTY:

Okay, in a world ... where people only live to be 25, time is currency, and the rich live forever while everyone else dies broke ... one man dares to defy the system. That is the premise of our next movie, the sci-fi thriller "In Time." Justin Timberlake stars as Will Salas, who's literally living day to day because that's all he has left on the ticking clock on his forearm. But that's about to change.
 
The wealthy man gives Will over a hundred years before "timing out," as they say, but Will is suspected of killing him. He flees the ghetto and lives the high life in the ritzy part of town. There, he meets the obscenely rich Phillippe Weis, played by the creepy Vincent Kartheiser, and his beautiful but sheltered daughter, Sylvia, played by Amanda Seyfried.
 
Sylvia becomes Will's partner in crime, robbing time banks, with Cillian Murphy as the cop on their tail. At first she's reluctant, but then she begins to enjoy this more thrilling life, and the idea of getting back at her father by stealing all his time and giving it to the poor. So if you're keeping track, this is "Logan's Run" meets "Bonnie and Clyde" meets "Robin Hood."
 
"In Time" offers a clever, compelling idea -- and then eventually beats it into the ground. But this movie is gorgeous to look at -- the work of the great cinematographer Roger Deakins -- with a mix of gleaming, futuristic visuals and grimy, industrial chic. It's fast-paced and hugely stylish and a lot of fun -- if you can ignore all the nagging questions that keep popping into your head. So my thumb is up.
 
IGNATIY:
I liked this movie a lot more when it was called Gattaca.  
 
CHRISTY:
It’s very Gattaca-esque, also by Andrew Niccol. 
 
IGNATIY:
Also, by Andrew Niccol I mean you get the same fetishization of classic cars, the key scene set by the Oceanside, you know the police officer who is chasing him; he’s essentially just remaking his own movie.  The difference here, though, is that he hasn’t thought through very well. 
 
CHRISTY:  
There are a lot of questions.
 
IGNATIY:
Well, there, first of all this,I mean this is film that is supposedly entirely about time where ten seconds seems to last like for half a minute.  You know the…
 
CHRISTY:
Oh, when they’re running and they only have seven seconds to go, right.
 
IGNATIY:
Yeah, when they have to run towards each other um where pretty much every problem in the film would be solved if somebody had a cellphone but it doesn’t fit into…
 
CHRISTY:
Nobody has cellphones. No.
 
IGNATIY:
No, it doesn’t fit into his retro-futuristic vision. I mean those might be minor quibbles.  The biggest issue for me; the reason I’m giving this a thumbs down is that this is a film that is supposedly about you know what makes us human, right? These issues of humanity that he’s always been exploring in his work and his screenplay for The Truman Show, you know, in Gattaca, but the film doesn’t have an ounce of humanity to it. You know if, if these people are so afraid of death, right that they extend their lives, why does nobody’s death in this film matter. Nobody mourns anyone who dies.
 
CHRISTY:
Okay, I don’t want to give away a very important death because it propels Justin Timberlake’s story forward, but that one is very emotional, and it is staged in a very stirring way.
 
IGNATIY:
I don’t think it’s emotional at all.  I think it is set and staged in a way that’s completely flat, and is almost laughable.   I think whatever this, whenever this…
 
CHRISTY:
It’s very tense.  
 
IGNATIY:
I don’t think so.  I think…
 
CHRISTY:
No.
 
IGNATIY:
Whenever this film is trying to be a light Sci-Fi you know action movie, it works.  When it attempts to approach some kind of bigger issue, it really falls flat for me.
 
CHRISTY:
 It moves very well.  There are some really very clever ideas here.  Yes, there are some problems, but I think I liked it more than I didn’t like it.