You’ve heard the saying, “time is money”? The thriller In Time gives the motto a whole lot of weight.
A sci-fi offering with Robin Hood coursing through its innovative blood, In Time presents a world in the near future in which time is currency and immortal youth can be bought. While the execution of the project probably belongs in the junk food aisle (pretty people run, music swells and … well, that seems to be the game plan), the idea behind it is gourmet stuff. In fact, given the state of the current economy in which the rich seemingly get richer and the rest occupy, this is pretty profound material.
Justin Timberlake stars as Will, a boy from the poor neighbourhood. With humans genetically engineered to stop aging at 25, Will is on the clock, with a balance of time ticking off in glowing green digits across his forearm. Being strictly blue collar, our hero lives day-to-day, along with his Mom (Olivia Wilde), knowing that missing even one day of work will be the death of them.
The premise makes for all kinds of fun: a loan payment costs a couple of days, a cup of coffee a few minutes and so on. There are “minute men” (gangsters who steal time), “timekeepers” (cops), and time zones separate the rich from the poor. Will crosses zones to the wealthy sector when a stranger gifts him with over 100 years, but also gives him the ugly truth about the dystopian society. Thus, Will doesn’t journey to where the other half lives to blow his fortune; he visits to throw the whole structure for a loop.
Paired with the daughter of a millionaire (Amanda Seyfried) who seems to only want daddy to get his, the duo do the Bonnie and Clyde thing, only they steal from the rich and give to the poor. Oh, and they run a lot. Boy, do they run.
In Time won’t wow you with its presentation — if this is the future, architecture took a serious hum drum swerve at some point — but rarely does adrenaline fare dabble in such smarts.
Timberlake, while he’ll inevitably take a shot or two as the leading man, does alright with what he’s been given; he’s not entirely wooden, and the dude continues to have a pretty good presence on the big screen. This acting thing just might work out after all for J.T. Because hey, timing is everything.
Out of a possible five stars, I’ll give In Time a three and a half. The feature is currently playing at the Pen-Mar Cinema Centre in Penticton.
Jason Armstrong is a movie reviewer living and watching in the Okanagan.