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In Time

In Time: Sci-Fi Version of Robin Hood

  • Alex PettyferAmanda Seyfried...
  • Science FictionThriller
  • Andrew Niccol
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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In Time: Sci-Fi Version of Robin Hood

In Time takes place in an
alternative universe where people don’t age past twenty five, at which point
the countdown clock on their arms activate, and they have but a year left to
live unless they earn more time. Wages are earned in time: the rich can loiter indefinitely, while the poor toil day to day, trying to
achieve immortality. The film takes the ‘time is money’ metaphor and makes it

Timberlake plays Will, a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who never
has more than a day left on his timer. Upon saving a suicidal rich guy from
being murdered in a bar, he finds himself the owner of a century bestowed upon
him by the guy, who offed himself anyway.

This gift makes a rich man of Will but
it also puts him in real danger. In his ghetto, people are killed for a week,
let alone a century. Unfortunately, his new-found riches aren’t enough to save
his mother, whose timer ran out seconds before he could give her
some of his time.

Severely disillusioned with the system and the ghetto, he high-tails it over to the rich part of town where he
meets Sylvia (Seyfried), the rebellious daughter of a millionaire banker. Bonding
over the notion that the disparity between the rich and the poor is highly
unfair, they embark upon a quest to destroy the system by stealing the time and
redistributing it while being pursued by both the timekeepers (police officers)
and the Minutemen. The Minutemen are a gang of time-thieving hoodlums led by the 75-year-old Fortis, a character played by 21-year-old Pettyfer.      

In addition to being very entertaining and filled with some very
beautiful people, In Time is also
rather infuriating. The film has a really great premise that isn’t
fleshed out the way it should have been. Instead of really getting to know this
world and the new problems that arise from this type of situation, we’re given
a story that skates over most of the intricacies and only tackles the outermost
shell of this world.

Timberlake is pretty cool once the action gets going and his main task
becomes outrunning the timekeepers and brandishing his gun
about. However, the first fifteen minutes of the film required acting skills
that he doesn’t really possess. Watching him sob over his mother’s
corpse was laughable.

Seyfried was surprisingly convincing as a badass for
someone who looks so much like a doll, especially as her heels were more stilts
that stilettos. She comes across as an idealistic thrill-seeker, fed up with
her overbearing father.

Murphy was awesome as Raymond, a timekeeper tasked with capturing Will
and Sylvia. He is a prime example of the weariness that immortality can inflict
upon the soul. Murphy manages to make his officer appear very human and much
older than what his looks would suggest.  

In Time, while highly
entertaining, doesn’t live up to its premise. An idea like this should have
made an insanely epic film, which, unfortunately, this isn’t.

Like This? Try

Blade Runner, Repo Men, Minority Report

360 Tip

Sci-Fi author Harlan Ellison is suing the filmmakers, claiming that the film is a rip-off of his novel Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktockman.

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