Film Review: In Time

Dominic Nazeri

In a future world where everyone stops ageing at 25 – then have to work to earn extra time to live – sounds farfetched to say the least.  Despite being a highly anticipated film however, In Time throws up a whole manner of ideas, and then simply has no idea what to do with them.


The rich can live forever as time is money, and the poor die through running out of time, a similar basis to that of Logans Run, but with a different direction altogether. Goods, services, even food are exchanged for hours, minutes, and days – whatever the cost. In doing so the holder’s current balance is deducted from the glowing neon ‘digital clock’ on their forearm.


Timberlake plays Will, a Blue Collar worker who is struggling to keep enough time to stay alive. Through defending a millionaire from a gang he receives the priceless sum of a century, while learning the truth about the system that dawns his society. Escaping ‘the ghetto’ he travels to New Greenwich, home to the rich and in doing so, befriends multi-millionaire ‘Philippe Weis’ (played by Vincent Kartheiser, a familiar face if Mad Men is your taste). The authorities call foul play and ‘The Timekeeper’ played by Cillian Murphy, is forced to track down Will and restore justice. This is all interrupted by Will kidnapping Weis’s daughter, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfriend) and the two embark on a journey that fills much of the film.


A fine sci-fi premise you may say, however In Time doesn’t ever find its feet. After a promising start the film never really delivers on anything more than the idea time can be given, and taken away so easily. Performances from Alex Pettyfer as leader of a gang in ‘the ghetto’ don’t add much to the storyline and often feel like a sub-plot that never really relates to the main story in any particular way.


Director and writer of In Time Andrew Nicol, does however create a sleek and stylish ‘tech-noir’ film. In Time looks impressive and features some big names, however the script ties itself up with moral concepts that are hard to relate to. There are genuine moments of tension that work incredibly well when characters clocks are reduced to seconds. These sparks of originality are over-shadowed by a film that’s not sure if it’s a chase-thriller or more focused on the fate of the human race. Timberlake plays as well but doesn’t get the chance to shine properly similarly to Cillian Murphy whose emotionless character becomes drab with repeated scenes.


Not a total waste of time and laced with some interesting ideas and visuals, In Time falls short of being a game-changer and as result doesn’t add anything spectacular to the sci-fi genre.


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