22 October 2012

Movies: In Time

In Time (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/

Dystopian Future Science Fiction (ish) Thriller

In this future "time is money" has become literal. That is, all people have been genetically engineered to stop aging at 25 years and live for one more year after that. Sortof starting off with 365 days in the 'bank'. All commerce is conducted by trading portions of your remaining time, and labor is rewarded by adding to your time. If your personal clock hits zero, poof, you're dead. This world is also separated in to 'time zones,' except the zones are more like separating those with decades and hundreds of years from those with mere days on their clocks. Basically separating the 'time rich' from the 'time poor'.
Will Salas and his mother are living day-to-day, scraping together just enough time to pay their bills and have enough left over to make it through tomorrow to earn a bit more. Through a chance encounter Will saves a man named Henry from thugs that were going to steal his time. While hiding out from the thugs Henry bequeaths over a century of time to Will as he sleeps, then Henry goes off to die. The police think Will killed Henry for his time and start chasing him. And we're now in the thriller portion.

Okay - I said Science Fiction (ish), perhaps Fictional Science is more appropriate. Hardly any explanation is given to exactly how the biological clocks work or how the time can be added and removed, we just have to accept that it can. But that is really okay for this film, it is the largest demand for suspension of disbelief and easily done. The film really is a thriller and it is set in a dystopian future. The science-y bits just accept as part of the package. It's the MacGuffin that drives the plot, in the purest sense.

Stars Justin Timberlake as Will, Olivia Wilde as Will's mom, Cillian Murphy as the Time Cop chasing Will, Amanda Seyfried as a naive time-rich girl that gets caught up in Will's troubles. Johnny Galecki (Big Bang Theory) has a supporting role in the film as Will's friend.
I have to say I was impressed by Timberlake in the leading role. I had no idea he could actually pull  off a leading character role. Apparently I have seen him in other films, but it's been a long while since I've seen "Alpha Dog" thus I barely recall him being in it, and I can't recall at all what part he played in "Black Snake Moan". I suppose I should watch those films again. Not because I want to see Timberlake, but because I remember I liked both films and it's been long enough since I've seen them they might seem like new. An odd benefit to getting older I suppose. Mixed blessing?
Anyhoo, I didn't have high expectations for Timberlake in a leading role and he exceeded them. I guess I'm trying to say he did good.

It isn't a great film, it isn't terrible. It's okay and entertaining enough. No real surprises from the script. Some really nice locations were found for a few scenes. Mediocre expectations met with low disappointment.
So, yeah, if you like dystopian future films this one might work for you. I suppose there is sort of a "Logan's Run" tang to the story, though I suppose one might argue this is an alternative to the end-result of the "Logan's Run" world.  And OH MY GOSH there is a "Logan's Run" remake in the works with Ryan Gosling cast as Logan.

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