February 7, 2012

Filthy Review - In Time

In Time (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

It doesn’t always take a multi-layered plotline in order to make an engaging movie. The high-concept movie has been a mainstay of Hollywood for years, and no doubt for many years to come. You know the sort of movie, the one you can sum up in just one line. That is very much the case with the Andrew Niccol’s futuristic thriller In Time. I can just see the sales pitch now, “People stop aging when they reach 25 years old, and have to earn more time so that they can continue to live”. Simple isn’t it?

Ok, so that is the plot summed up already. Actually, I will elaborate a little for you as there is slightly more to it than that.

Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is three years past his 25th birthday, which means that he, along with everyone else passed this age, must bust his ass working to earn more time in order to keep living. He lives in the ghetto and everyday consists of working, and running (to save time), to achieve harder quotas in return for time. Money, as we know it, doesn’t exist, everything is paid for in time.

Will lives day by day, as does his mother, just making enough time to get by. Things all change when he has a chance encounter with a man that has over a century in time at his disposal.
What we have here with In Time is a film that riffs on the 1976 flick Logan’s Run, where folk lived to the age of 30, yet still remains a highly enjoyable thriller. The plot is a familiar one at its core; the working class man must fight the elite of society in order to retain his integrity and freedom. Throw in a little Bonnie and Clyde/Robin Hood style action and you pretty much have it on a plate.

2011's In Time might like to think that it is a far more intelligent thriller than it actually is but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it is incredibly entertaining. This is in large part thanks to a surprisingly strong lead in Timberlake. Even though he has turned in some really solid performances in movies such as The Social Network and Alpha Dog, I would not have thought that the former pop singer would develop into such an engaging actor. He plays the role of Salas with just the right mix of charm and naiveity and really does act as the glue of the movie.

He is ably supported by Amanda Seyfreid, as his potential love interest, the predictably solid Cillian Murphy, as a time keeper, and Vincent Kartheiser as the wealthy mogul Weis. All play their respective parts well, even if the roles do not require all that much of them in terms of any depth.

In Time is what it is, it’s an entertaining movie that doesn’t require an awful lot of the viewer, whilst still remaining a fun and engaging good time. I personally would have liked it to have delved a little deeper into the concept of time running out at 25, although that could have taken this film into a much darker realm of moviemaking, of which it is quite apparent that the filmmakers did not have any intention of doing this.

In Time might not be all that original at its core, but sometimes a film doesn’t need to be. Well worth viewing.

In Time is available now on Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox

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