How many time-related puns can you stuff into one over-hyped, cliché movie? I lost count.
In “In Time,” humanity has become so genetically advanced that people are born with a clock imprinted into their arm that begins a countdown at age 25, a countdown that gives them only a year to live unless they find a way to get more time.
Justin Timberlake doesn’t live up to his new leading man status, as he delivers a lame, mediocre performance as Will Salas, a “time-delinquent” who is bent on shaking up a corrupt government. Salas lives with his mother, Rachel (Olivia Wilde) in the ghetto, working to earn a living — literally, he fights the clock to stay alive. Salas is later joined by the billionaire heiress Sylvia Weis (whose daddy owns practically all of Time), played by Amanda Seyfried, who turns against her privileged lifestyle and joins Salas on his mission for justice. It gets really time-keeper-Bonnie-and-Clyde from there.
Salas, a factory worker, happens to save the life of the centennial (code word for “millionaire,”) Henry Hamilton, who is played by the ridiculously gorgeous Matt Bomer. Hamilton is over 100-years-old in “real-time” and has had enough of immortality. He transfers over a century of time to Salas, by way of some fancy wrist action, and commits suicide, “clocking out” after five minutes and plummeting off a bridge.
How is time managed in this futuristic world? Each human is given one year and must earn more time before they “clock out” (In case this ingenious pun has gone over your head, they mean “die”).
Naturally, Salas gets accused of Hamilton’s murder because the “time police” refuse to believe anyone would run from immortality. And so, the hunt for the “stolen” time begins.
In his pursuit for justice, Salas battles the “Time Keepers” (aka, the time po-po), who maintain social order and divide humanity into classes depending on how much time they accumulated and are willing to spend. The rich live in the exclusive Greenwich community, while the poor are blocked off into inescapable ghettos. Want a fancy car? It’ll cost you 58 years and tax. Don’t even ask how much a burger costs. It will make you head over to the nearest McDonald’s and punch the cashier in the throat.
In this dog-eat-dog world, poor people pawn their belongings for a 48-hour currency and use other methods to “buy time” which is then used to purchase goods. Thank God for those “99-second-or-less” stores. Those living in the ghetto, immortalized as their 25-year-old self, attempt to gain seconds of life while the rich capitalize on them. I guess the only upside to this “curse” is a having a sexy corpse.
Basically, the entire movie is one giant metaphor for how humanity wastes their time in the pursuit of money and power — which never seems to work out well for most of us (ahem, all 99 percent of “us”). Salas attempts to fight this unjust system (as best as any boy-band member could) and create a world where “no one should be immortal if even one person has to die.”
The movie was watchable — once you get past the N’SYNC jokes and clichéd time references. I was totally captivated by Seyfried’s ability to run throughout the entire movie in “stripper heels.”
I’d like to tell you more, but it looks like I’m out of time.