In Time (2011) - Bonnie and Clyde, SciFi Style

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In Time

Seeing this movie was something of a leap for me. It caught my eye because of its leading lady who is one of my favorite movie stars but after that, I did think it sounded like it had potential. When I read a Christian review on it in World Magazine, I was officially intrigued by its premise. It explores the paralyzing hold fear can have over us – or more accurately how very brief our life here on earth really is. What it lacks in moral quality, it makes up for in creativity.

Time is not on Will Salas’ side and in his world, time is everything. Will (Justin Timberlake) finds his reality is to stop aging at the age of twenty-five and unless you are among the wealthy, that is the span of one’s life. Unless you can earn more time, a clock starts on your twenty-fifth birthday and you have one year to live – in most cases, the common man dies in that year. Time is literally money in Will’s world. Too late to help his beloved mother (Olivia Wilde) after the cost of living rises and force her to walk home on nothing but an hour in a two hour walk, her death angers Will to bitterness. After an encounter with a mysterious stranger (Matt Bomer), his plans to conspire against the “Time Keepers” - a police force who are in touch with keeping everyone in their appropriate place and living with their appropriate amount of time - begin to fall into place. Soon under suspicion of murder, no one man is more determined to catch Will than the one guy (Cillian Murphy) who is familiar with the past of Will's father. Seeing his chance of escape, he takes a hostage in the form of his wealthy hosts only daughter.

Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) has enjoyed anything she wants. As one of the privileged, her lifestyle is without limits and she will enjoy an eternal life. Will doesn’t want to hurt the opinionated Sylvia who seems more sympathetic with his plight than anyone else in her world but with a petty criminal (Alex Pettyfer) hunting him and the police pursuing him, all that is keeping him alive is Sylvia – without her, he hasn’t even got a day left.

This is the movie I chose to see in lieu of the over-publicized Super Bowl. About midway through, it didn’t seem anything spectacular and in fact I felt “so-so” about its premise. All of that was about to change. Before the end credits rolled, I was really quite impressed with more than just its acting; it had a unique way of pulling the viewer into the symbolic meanings of the story. And, the concept of the movie is not just intriguing, it also has a direct correlation to today’s politics and its economy. The popular term “time is money” is literally the working premise behind In Time and it is one that is quite interesting to watch be plotted and see it all unfold in a fictionalized world. The story almost "demanded" clever writing to work, and I enjoyed it for its sometimes genius and gusty story-telling.

Set in futuristic times, this movie has a mix of sci-fi/thriller vibe going for it, and of course, tosses in a hint of romance for good measure. Casting was really interesting in this one because the aging stops at 25 so naturally all of the players have to look young even if they are 50, 75 or 100. Wilde is as young if not younger than Timberlake (I’d imagine his calling her “mom” caused some laughs on the set) while Pettyfer’s character is said to be 75 if memory serves me correctly. All around I thought the acting was impressive. Being a 90s teen heartthrob in a boy bad didn’t necessarily give Timberlake an advantage when it comes to acting, but he gave a commendable performance and although brief it was fun to see Matt in something other than his White Collar role as well as Alex (Beastly). Amanda was surprisingly cool as is appropriate in the role of an heiress; her edgy looks and costumes only added to the personality of the character – in short, she isn’t that “sweet girl” we have come to expect with the likes of her earlier screen work.

Ironically, the movie is also a look at the wealthy seeing the middle-class as “not valuable.” The rich believe that for a few to be immortal (those with time enough to buy unlimited time), many must die – and that “logic” extends not to their “kind” but those less fortunate than them. Will, at the opposite end of the spectrum has lived day-to-day without the promise of another day. He has learned how to survive in his “zone” without all the time he’d like to have – even if only for one day. For the most part, the movie is definitely a drama with a darker, more suspicious persona but every now and then a very well-placed comic piece of wit was a part of the script. Another way to explain this one is by imagining a kind of futuristic Robin Hood or Bonnie and Clyde type story – it certainly does take some ideas from that sort of concept. When all was said and done, I did wind up really liking this film. It is entertaining and manages to throw in some ingenuity without seeming superfluous or dull. I was never bored with it and found it one of the better movies I’ve seen in a while in terms of being out of the ordinary – plus the ending is simplistically cute.
CONTENT: there is some violence when characters use and fire with accuracy guns, and a handful of characters dropping dead in the street after their time runs out [another character is said to have drank himself out of time], still another person commits suicide by timing himself out. Two unmarried people swim in the nude and play strip poker, including a scene of sensual kissing as she strips down to her undergarments. One f-word is used and a few milder profanities. In Time is rated PG13.


  1. I'll have to rent this sometime. I'm curious to see how Timberlake and Amanda play off one another.

  2. This is an interesting concept, Charity. I really enjoyed the movie once all was said and done, and will certainly watch it again sometime.

    Amanda and Justin... I liked them well enough together but I guess I looked more at their acting as opposed to their "romantic sparks." I'll be interested to get your take on this one if/when you see it. =)

  3. Great review! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the movie. I've been debating whether or not to check it out--I enjoy sci-fi movies and the concept of this particular movie seemed interesting but I wasn't sure about the acting and what appeared to be a switch towards a heist somewhere in the story.

  4. This one was really entertaining. I am looking forward to seeing it again. Part of this one does become a "heist" sort of story BUT the concept is really interesting and it makes the movie really engrossing to say the least. Cannot wait to know what you think of this one, Lianne. =)

  5. Wow, that looks very interesting... Just added it to the queue... ;)

  6. It was, Tory - very interesting.

    I'd be interested to know what you thought of it after you see it.

  7. Haha, ok, I will let you know when I do see it... ;)

  8. Cool. =)

    (I'll hold you to that - just kiddin' ;D)

  9. Other than the nudity and etc. etc,I would love to watch it. The review you gave it really made me want to go see it and the story-line really seemed interesting. I have a feeling that I'm more of an action when I get older I'll enjoy the fantasy and cop shows :P So that could be another reason why...and of course the idea of selling time as's pretty interesting... Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

  10. Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this one, Sierra. It's suspenseful and entertaining without being too cliched. The concept is very interesting and one that I am looking forward to re-visiting. =)

    The "nudity" scene is shot without being graphic but the implication is still there.


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