DVD Review: In Time

Hi all!

Have you seen those films where you walked out wondering if it was a waste of time or not? Sometimes you hate a film and sometimes you love it. But in that gray area somewhere in the middle you wonder if it made any impact at all.

In Time, written and directed by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War), offers an intriguing concept. What if your lifetime became currency? Sure, you stop aging at age 25, but you only get one more year to live and you have to use that time to pay for goods and services. You can work to earn more time, but the cost of living continues to rise. Not only would this solve the overpopulation crisis, but it offers potential immortality for those who can afford it.

Unfortunately it’s difficult to identify with some of the characters in this film and it devolves into a bit of a Bonnie and Clyde rehash. Will Salas (Justin Timberlake, Friends with Benefits, Bad Teacher, The Social Network) is struggling to make ends meet while his mom, Rachel (Olivia Wilde, Cowboys & Aliens, TRON: Legacy, TV’s House M.D.), is struggling to pay the loan on the house. One day Will meets a millionaire, Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer, TV’s Chuck and White Collar), and helps him escape potential doom with a group of thugs in a bar. In return, Henry gives Will more than a century and tells him not to waste it…

Along the way we meet Timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy, Inception, The Dark Knight, Sunshine) who’s job it is to apprehend Will for having too much time on his hands, Borel (Johnny Galecki, TV’s Big Bang Theory) who is Will’s best friend and an alcoholic with a new family, Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried, Red Riding Hood, Letters to Juliet, TV’s Big Love) who is a spoiled rich girl looking for a way to get more out of life, and Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser, TV’s Mad Men and Angel) who is Sylvia’s father and a big time banker. Each of these offers a different perspective on the whole “time as currency” idea, from maintaining a world order based on the rich wanting to live forever and the poor paying for it to just trying to live in the moment.

Ultimately I didn’t hate the film, but feel that In Time tried to fit too many tropes into one basket. We’re all going to run out of time eventually, but if we don’t try to live while we’re here it’s a waste. The rich profit from the plight of the poor. You can’t keep a good man down. Live each day like it’s your last. There’s even a bit of Robin Hood in this one, with Will and Sylvia stealing time from the rich and giving it to the poor. The list goes on…

It’s not a bad film and has some fun special effects scattered throughout, such as the car crash where Timberlake and Seyfried roll a car traveling at speed into a concrete culvert with hardly a scratch. It’s also quite stylized, with a stark contrast between the poor sections of civilization and the rich.

I’m still not convinced that either Timberlake or Seyfried can act. And the fact that everybody in the film, rich or poor, happened to be attractive and young really made the whole age aspect of the movie seem very one-dimensional to me. It’s just not something I would consider seeing again, but if you’re interested in seeing most of the hot young actors and actresses in a movie, In Time should be in your queue to rent.

Feature-wise, this was a very light DVD. It includes the theatrical trailer, a collection of deleted/extended scenes, and a bunch of trailers for other FOX projects. None of the deleted scenes really added much to the viewing experience, so I was glad they weren’t added to the nearly two hour running time for the film.

This article first appeared at BlogCritics.org here.


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