“You can do a lot with a day.” A quote that is delivered many times by the main character Will Salas in this film and it’s a similar motto that I try to live by in my every day life, but this film gives a whole new meaning to this phrase.
In Time is a 2011 science fiction thriller starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, and Cillian Murphy. It also co-stars many other actors that when you see them you will say “Oh my gosh, that’s so and so.” The film was written and directed by Andrew Nicchol who has also brought us films like Gattaca, Simone, and Lord of War.
The film is set in the distant future in a world in which you stop aging at the age of 25 and are only given a years worth of time to live. In this world time is the currency. You use the time that you do have to purchase every day things from every day necessities such as coffee, all the way up to bigger things such as houses or vehicles. You also earn money by working the same way we earn money through working. This world is broken up into zones, you have the slums where the poor people live, called Dayton and basically live their lives by the minute and then you have the zone where the rich people live and it is called New Greenwich. The people in New Greenwich have all the time and can live for centuries and not ever have to worry about running low on time.
Will Salas(Timberlake) lives in Dayton with his mother, played by Olivia Wilde, this is the first time that you get to see how hard it is to determine age because Timberlake and Wilde obviously appear to be the same age but she is in fact his mother. Anyways, Will and his mother are always down to their last hours and even minutes at times and struggle to get through each day. After work one day Will and his friend Borel, played by Johnny Galecki whom many will know him as Leonard from The Big Bang Theory, go to a bar and they meet a man named Henry Hamilton, who is played by Matt Bomer who has been in the tv shows Chuck and White Collar. Henry has over a century of time and he is flaunting it in the bar buying every one drinks and showing no concern at all over who might hear. Will tries to get Henry to stop and warns him of the Minutemen, a local gang led by Fortis who is played by Alex Pettyfer who is most well known from the movie I Am Number Four. Fortis attacks Henry and Will helps Henry to escape and leads him to shelter. Will and Henry decide to hide out for the night and Henry explains to Will that the rich are stockpiling time so they can become immortal. While Will is asleep Henry gives Will all of his time except for 5 minutes. Will uses this time to go to New Greenwich and starts to gamble and buy things that he never could before. He is then accused of murdering Henry and stealing time by a “Timekeeper” named Raymond Leon(Cillian Murphy) so Will flees New Greenwich with a hostage(Amanda Seyfried). The film follows Will through confrontations and near death moments with the gang and the Timekeeper as he tries to take the rich peoples stock pile of time and give it back to the people that he feels truly deserves the time.
The story of the film to me was the most intriguing part. I try to translate what I was seeing in the film into every day life for us and it would be an odd way to live but I think it would be a great eye opener for a lot of people. Too many take for granted the life that we live and in this film the rich take for granted the lives of many so they can become immortal. Another interesting concept is the ageing. At one point in the film you see a man introduce his mother in law, his wife, and his daughter and they all look the same age. You are born with one year of time but that time doesn’t start counting down until you turn 25. At the age of 25 you stop ageing physically, so somebody maybe be 84 in actual age but they still look 25. You have a countdown on your left forearm that shows the amount of time that you have and you can transfer time back and forth by grabbing each others right forearm. They never really explain how it all works to extreme detail but you get the point. The price of everything is in currency as well. You see at one point they are buying coffee and the price was 4 hours of time for a cup of coffee. Vehicles were up around 75 years of currency. All in all, it was a very interesting concept and it was one that I highly enjoyed seeing portrayed on the screen. The film definitely didn’t lack in creativity or story other than a few things that may not have been explained in the detail that it maybe could have been.
One thing I mentioned early in this review was the “oh my gosh its…..” factor. I was having a field day with it!!! It started off when I first saw Olivia Wilde, who I personally think is one of the most beautiful women alive!! It continued when I saw Galecki and Bomer. All three of them despite the small roles I felt did awesome jobs!! I always did enjoy Matt Bomer, even as the very unlikeable Bryce in Chuck. The important roles in the film though were obviously Timberlake, Seyfried, and Murphy seeing as they were the main three characters in the film. Timberlake is one that I never did care for as a singer but he has been one that I have highly enjoyed watching develop into a fairly decent actor. He showed a lot of promise from the beginning with his performance in Alpha Dog in 2006, a performance that really surprised me. He continued growth when he appeared in the film The Social Network in 2010. While the films Bad Teacher and Friends With Benefits from earlier this year may have been ones that led people to believe that he may not be as good as they thought, I feel In Time should pull those people right back in. I felt that he did a very good job as the lead role in this film. He showed emotion and it really felt that he put a lot into the role. One of the more underrated actors in my opinion has always been Cillian Murphy. The guy delivers every time he is given a role and I don’t feel he gets the credit he deserves. Murphy has been perfect in the role of Jonathon Crane/Scarecrow in the Batman films, his performance in Red Eye flew way under the radar, his role while small in Inception was still delivered spot on, and his performance in this will probably fly under the radar as well. He has always been one of my favorite actors and continues to be after this film.
All in all, I thought this was a highly enjoyable film and most definitely worth a watch. I have not heard a whole lot about the film and it seems to not be getting the credit that I feel it deserves. It is not a film by any means I would say is one of the best of the year or Oscar-worthy. Nor would I say any of the performances deserves any kind of award nominations either. It is a very enjoyable and fun film with an interesting concept, a popcorn film so to speak. It won’t awe you with over the top special effects, it won’t have you on the edge of your seat in suspense, you won’t be amazed by any amazing acting performance that you didn’t expect, it delivers exactly what it needed to for me. A good enertaining 1 hour and 49 minutes in the cinema and a wonderful escape from all the 3-D, sequels, and remakes.