In Time

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

By 2161, genetic alteration has allowed humanity to stop aging at 25 but people are required to earn more time after turning 25 or die within a year. ‘Living time’, which can be transferred among individuals, has replaced money and its availability is displayed on an implant on people’s lower arm. When that clock reaches zero, one dies instantly. Society is divided by social class living in specialized towns called ‘Time Zones’. The poor live in the ghettos of Dayton, where youth predominates, and must work each day to earn a few more hours of life, which they must also use to pay for everyday necessities. The rich live in the luxurious city-like town called New Greenwich, in which the middle-aged and elderly predominate. They drive fast electric cars, and can live for centuries.

28-year-old factory worker Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives with his mother Rachel Salas (Olivia Wilde) in the ghettos. One day, Will saves rich 105-year-old Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) from suffering a time-robbery assault in a bar where he flaunts his time around buying people drinks. Hamilton is attacked by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer), the elderly British mobster boss of a middle-aged gang called the Minutemen. Will leads Hamilton to safety, where Hamilton says to Will, “For few to be immortal, many must die”, as there is essentially enough time for everyone to live a full life, but it is stockpiled for the rich to become immortal. An upset Will argues that no one should die before their time naturally ends so that others may live, upon which Hamilton describes how he no longer even desires life, in saying “your mind is worn out, even though your body may not be. We want, we need, to die.”

Later that night, Hamilton transfers 116 years to the sleeping Will, keeping only five minutes for himself, which he uses to go and sit on a ledge on a bridge. As his time expires, Hamilton falls into the river below. Will arrives too late to save him, realizes he has been filmed by a nearby surveillance camera, and flees the area. Resident police force, the Timekeepers, have various theories as to his death. A young timekeeper, Timekeeper Jaeger (Collins Pennie), correctly assumes Hamilton had “timed out”, a.k.a. killed himself, but a middle-aged veteran Timekeeper, Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy), is convinced he was murdered by a Dayton resident.

Will waits for his mother at a bus station, only to discover that she didn’t have enough time to pay for her usual bus ride after the price suddenly increased. He rushes down the street to find her. They encounter each other on foot, and as she runs and leaps into his arms, her time expires before her son can help her and she dies in his arms. Remembering what Hamilton told him about the inequity of the time system, Will decides to seek revenge, and leaves for New Greenwich, with over a century on his clock. Upon arrival, he enters a casino, where he meets an old millionaire, time-loaning businessman Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser) and his daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). Sylvia becomes interested in Will after a tense gambling table showdown where Will beats her father in poker with only one second to spare on his clock, winning 1,100 years in the process. She invites Will to a party at her father’s mansion.

At the mansion, Will is apprehended by Leon, who confiscates all of his time, spare two hours. Will then escapes taking Sylvia hostage. Returning to the ghetto with her, he drives into an ambush of Fortis, who, in disappointment to find that the unconscious Will was in possession of Hamilton’s time but lost it, steals most of Sylvia’s, only failing to take the last half hour as the approach of the Timekeepers forces him to leave the scene. Will returns to consciousness and gives Sylvia some of his remaining time so they can return to his old neighborhood. They first visit Borel to retrieve some time Will gave him earlier, only to find out from Borel’s grief-stricken wife, Greta (Yaya DaCosta), that he drunk himself to death with 9 years on his clock. Sylvia pawns her jewelry for the meager price of 2 days. Finding themselves a shelter, Will calls Weis demanding a 1,000 years’ ransom for Sylvia, to be distributed to the people of the ghetto. Leon traces Will’s location from his phone call, and heads to Dayton in pursuit.

The following day, as Will prepares to release Sylvia, he discovers that Weis did not pay the ransom, but Will decides to let Sylvia go regardless. Leon appears and almost kills Will, but is shot in the shoulder by Sylvia. Will then transfers four hours of time to the disarmed Leon so that he is able to walk out of Dayton before he “times out”. Will and Sylvia escape in Leon’s car. Later, Will tells her that she still has a chance to walk away from the situation, but she decides to remain by his side, saying there is no purpose to the life she once had in New Greenwich. They begin a series of Time Bank robberies, stealing the Time Capsules which store time equivalents and distributing them to the poor, getting a bounty of 10 years on their heads. Fortis eventually tracks down Will and Sylvia a second time, and challenges Will to a Time Fight. Will dominates the fight by using the technique he learned from his late father, then shoots the remaining Minutemen while Fortis dies in the time fight, his time transferred to Will.

Will and Sylvia realize their previous efforts were futile, as the rich have the power to simply increase the cost of living in the ghettos to maintain the status quo. They succeed in stealing a million years from Weis’ private headquarters in a Time Capsule, escaping all resistance on their way out and reaching Dayton. Upon arrival, Leon crashes his car into Will’s, but Will is able to hand the Time Capsule to a young girl who then distributes the time among the people. Leon eventually catches up with Will and Sylvia outside the city, holding them at gunpoint. Will jokingly asks Leon to return some of the time he previously loaned him so that they can survive til their executions, but Leon realizes that he had neglected to replenish his own time before going after them, and dies. Will and Sylvia are left with seconds to live. Will runs to Leon’s car and takes his allotted time. In a scene mirroring his mother’s death, Will transfers the time to Sylvia seconds before she is about to die.

Will and Sylvia continue robbing banks as part of their efforts to crash the system, now with a bounty of 100 years on their heads, while the rich attempt to cope with the sudden surge of people who now have enough time to change zones arriving from the ghettos. A news broadcast shows the factories, in which Will once worked, are no longer in action. Factory workers, now rich with Time, cross Time Zones while the Time Keepers become observers instead of enforcers.

The last scene reveals that Will and Sylvia are going to rob an obscenely huge Time Bank in order to keep disrupting the system


The phrase “time is money” takes a bit of a literal meaning in In Time, a film that centers around the central theme of time ticking down and that time is the currency of this dystopian society. One of the best things about this flick is that it is a breath of fresh being something that isn’t a remake, sequel, or based on some sort of comic book or other literary work. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is an original idea out of Hollywood…*GASP*

I must apologize that this is going to be a bit of a short review, as I’m in a bit of a rush, so let’s get to the good.

The original idea. In this day and age when we are forced to endure remake upon remake upon endless remake, some, if not all are in horrid 3D, it is great that someone still had an original idea and was able to get it released into major cinema markets, and that this was also a financial success, Maybe the powers that be need to take notice.

The effects weren’t too bad, though, I do wonder how it/was that people evolved to the point that they stop aging at 25 and have clocks embedded in their skin like that.

The casting actually worked. No one was over the top or felt out of place, which is something else that is rare in this day and age.

The bad…

Pacing was horrible. From the get go this film, which should have been a non stop slobber knocker, seemed to drag on, and the last 30 minutes or so were the worst part.

Olivia Wilde was a bit of a waste, as she dies early on. Why would you cast (and pay her outrageous fee) for nothing more than a glorified cameo? Wouldn’t have been better than to hire some up and coming hot chick? Even better, why not give someone their big break, or bring someone down on their luck for this? Don’t get me wrong, for the 3 or 4 scenes she does have, she’s great, but I just thought there could have been more of her, or that they should have used someone else, other than to waste her time (pardon the pun).

I would have liked a little more information on what is going on with the time thing. That is to say, is this a different world, or the same one, just in the future?

The time I spent watching In Time was not a waste, but I think I would liked to have a bit of a better film. That is not to say that this was not a bad flick, I just wanted it to be better, or at the very least more action packed. I highly recommend it, though. It is a good watch!

3 1/2 out of 5 stars


One Response to “In Time”

  1. […] is the best option. Not exactly the same plot/premise, but in a way it is similar is the film In Time, which dealt with people’s time running out (for their lives, not love). Take a look at that […]

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