Saturday 8 June 2013

Dark Review - In Time

Dark Review Image

My review of the film In Time 

By Casey Douglass


Have you ever been with someone who continuously checks their watch? I know that time rules all of our lives to some degree, but to keep an eye on it when there is no real need is just pointless. However, if instead of a watch you had a glowing countdown timer on one forearm, that slowly ticks down to zero, and when it gets there you expire and hit the ground…I think I would be watching it too.

In Time is set in a future where people have been genetically altered to stop ageing once they reach the age of 25. This activates the countdown timer which everyone is born with and which already has one year on it. They can earn time by working, but every aspect of life literally costs them time. A coffee might be 3 minutes, a bus trip 2 hours. Everything whittling down those glowing figures on their arms. Time has replaced money in every possible way, except that being broke now kills you instantly.

Will Salas (Timberlake) is a blue-collar worker, never having more than a day on his timer. One night a good deed performed for a stranger sees him acquiring over 100 years. The only draw back is he is suspected of robbing the stranger and causing his death by “timing him out”. A short time later he is unable to save his mother (Wilde) as things conspire against her, and this sets him on a path of revenge. He uses the time to traverse the various time zones of the region and sets out to take everything from the people who have the most. On this journey, he hooks up with the daughter of a man who has more time than a Time Lord.
Her name is Sylvia Weis (Seyfried), and Will proceeds to break her out of her overly safe and restrictive world, first by being different, and then, by kidnapping her when things go badly for him. The rest of the film sees them bouncing between conflicts with her father, the timekeepers, headed by Raymond Leon (Murphy) and Fortis (Pettyfer), the leader of a gang of time thieves called “minute men”.

Now for the opinion part. I felt let down by the film and I am not entirely sure why. I had seen the trailer before going into it, and I was quite excited by the subject matter and the look of the film. I even got over my maybe unwarranted dislike of Justin Timberlake to actually watch it. The acting did the job, even if it wasn’t mind-blowing, and there were some interesting dynamics and twists involving Will and Raymond in regard to his long dead father and questions of morals and ethics. The environment was well thought out, although the stars were the cars. There only seemed to be a few types but they are all suitably futuristic looking and sound like they are run on a mixture of Tesla coil and liquid witchcraft. Everything else felt like typical futuristic dystopia. The occasions where their time counters ran very low certainly added to the tension of the film, wondering if they would die, or if they would find a way to survive a little longer. If any kind of conversation or bartering was involved, it certainly took on a heated and frenetic tone.

Maybe In Time is an action film wearing the mantle of a more intellectual sci-fi showing, but failing to mask its true nature. I don’t know. I enjoyed the film, I just felt it could have been better.

Rating: 3.5/5


 This review is also available on Generic Movie Blog UK here.