In Time Blu-ray Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, February 09, 2012
Director Andrew Niccol’s latest film, In Time is a heavy-handed treatise on our class system in America, and particularly sensitive in light of the various Occupy movements that have been staged over the past year. It’s the ultimate battle of the Haves Vs. the Have Nots and a half-hour in you want to scream and say, “Yeah! We get it!” The rich get richer, the working middleclass gets screwed and no one cares about the lower class. The premise is that in the year 2161 scientists have found a way to genetically alter humans so that they stop aging when they hit 25. But after that you have just one more year to live unless you can earn more time. The people of this era have a constant reminder of just how much or how little time they have left due to a digital clock with bright green LED numbers that is built into their arms.
The classes are separated into zones with the poor and middle class living in the slums while the rich live in mansions and high rises. It’s a society where a man’s mother, wife , and daughter can all appear to be the same age since their physical aging has stopped at 25. Time has replaced standard paper money as the currency of the day. You work a job to earn more time that is transferred to you at the end of your shift but you also need time to pay for life’s necessities like food and rent. Some people engage in a winner take all battle of wills where each combatant bets their remaining time. Will Salas is one of these blue collar guys who wakes each morning with just enough time to make it through the day until he gets paid. I guess in the future if you take a sick day you’re screwed.
Will helps a stranger escape from organized criminals called Minutemen who steal time from others. The stranger transfers nearly all his time, over a century to Will. Will uses his newfound wealth to visit New Greenwich and see how the rich live and it repulses him. For here in New Greenwich the super wealthy have centuries, sometimes even thousands of years on their clocks. Teaming with Sylvia (Seyfried) the daughter of one the zone’s richest men, Will is determined to bring down the system by becoming a futuristic Robin Hood, stealing time from the rich to give it to the poor.
Ok so the premise is interesting even if it is a bit of a ripoff of Logan’s Run but Niccol seems far more concerned with his message about big corporations trampling on the poor and middleclass than making a plausible Sci-Fi film. Despite being set 150 years in the future there’s almost nothing that seems futuristic other than people having digital clocks in their arms. I mean they still drive regular cars, they may be electric cars but we already have those. I mean 150 years from now wouldn’t we have cars that run on nuclear fusion or anti-matter? Think of all the technological advancements from 1860 to the present day…electricity, indoor plumbing, TV, computers, cell phones, the internet…There’s virtually nothing in In Time that makes you believe it’s 150 years in the future.
Will and Sylvia spend much of the film on the run from a Timekeeper (Murphy). Timekeepers are the police of the day. You might think that people could be tracked simply by the clocks in their arms, but no, were still talking 20th century police methods being used here. Timberlake isn’t a bad actor but he’s definitely more suited to romantic and comedic roles than bad ass action characters. Murphy keeps things interesting as a driven Timekeeper who seems motivated solely by keeping the current class system in place to avoid anarchy.
Niccol certainly hammers home his message but beyond that he has very little more to offer here.
The Minutes (16:35) This featurette is a series of faux interviews with characters from the film and some you didn’t see such as one of the scientists who engineered the age-limiting gene.
Deleted Scenes (12:52) Notable for one reason…We get to see what really happened to Will’s father which was only hinted at in the final cut of the film.
Mania Grade: C
Blu-ray: In Time Blu-ray
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy
Written By: Andrew Niccol
Directed By: Andrew Niccol
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Original Year of Release: 2011
Extras: See Below