Watched Aug 20, 2012
Lee Curtis’s review:
In the sixties and seventies a range of science-fiction films were released focussing on characters failing to assimilate in dystopian futures. It is clear that this sub-genre of “escape-from-dystopia”, that includes Logan’s Run, THX-1138 and Fahrenheit 451, had significant influence on In Time writer director Andrew Niccol.
In a future where people stop ageing at twenty-five, but are genetically modified to live one more year from then, time is the new currency. Accused of murder and on the run with hostage, Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) must do whatever it takes to disrupt the system, without being caught by the time-keeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy).
Andrew Niccol’s futuristic vision of America both presents and exaggerates the greedy nature of hierarchal systems within society. The country is split into different time-zones with the immortal rich segregated from the poor who must fight for survival and living each hour as if their last. On many occasions the differences between the lives of the rich and poor are distinct, offering up the film’s finest moments; best recognised when Will first moves to the affluent district of New Greenwich. Having spent his entire life in the ghetto where time is precious, his habits and hurried attitude make him immediately stand out amongst the rich who are care little about time.
Unfortunately the film’s interesting concept is let down by a clichéd narrative, most recognisable in the second half which lacks the pace and excitement of the first. As a remedy to this the action sequences come thick and fast and while they are well shot they fail to engage or add anything new to the story. In places Niccol loses track of time and instead of reflecting the desperation and suspense of its characters living on seconds, the scenes often drag.
Despite suffering from a disappointing narrative, In Time is a reasonably enjoyable homage to the escape-from-dystopia, science fiction sub-genre.