Friday, 20 April 2012

In Time (2011)

Let us start with an outlandish premise: What would you do if you stopped aging at 25, and you were paid in seconds instead of cents? That’s the background of “In Time,” starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, and Cillian Murphy.

In the not-so-distant future, humans are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25. From that point on, they are dependent on earning increments of time to survive. Oh, and did I mention that when you run out of “time,” you die? That’s also important. Justin Timberlake works in a factory, earning just enough time to live day-to-day. His mother, played by “House” actress Olivia Wilde, is worse off than he is. One day, she runs out of time and dies. From that moment on, Timberlake vows to change the system somehow.

I think I watched this on the airplane, mostly out of sheer boredom. The number of plot holes in the film are astounding, and I cannot believe that a society like the one presented in this film could ever function properly. The dichotomy of this society uses time as a replacement for money, the only difference being that having no time will literally kill you. Rich people have millions of years at their disposal, while slum dwellers like Timberlake have 48 hours or so until their next paycheck.

Somehow, Timberlake stumbles onto a windfall of time and ends up in high society, where he flirts with Amanda Seyfried and makes enemies with the Timekeepers, led by Cillian Murphy. The movie slowly turns into a Bonny and Clyde-type film, full of futuristic bank robberies and action-packed chases. Neither side comes off as particularly savvy to the ways of this make-believe world; Timberlake’s character doesn’t seem to have any plans beyond the next heist, and Murphy’s law enforcement henchmen come off as entirely inept.

There are some interesting concepts in this film but, like most sci-fi films set in near-future scenarios, they are underdeveloped and ultimately sacrificed for that quick rush of adrenaline that audiences seem to adore. I’d recommend this movie to people who don’t like to think too hard when they’re watching science fiction flicks.

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