In Time (2011)
Dir: Andrew Niccol
‘Time is Money’
Never before has that saying been viewed so literally, but in this clever sci-fi that’s the exact premise in three words. In a world where the population has been genetically engineered to live to 25, stop aging, and have then just one year (timed on their forearm) before they die, unless they can earn more and prolong an indefinite quarter-century. With time as currency, they can spend minutes on whatever, but in certain ‘time zones’ minutes are more precious and many clock-out, dying immediately on the spot as their numbers all hit zero.
Have you got your head around that? Good!
Now lets throw in some very clever politics, somewhat akin to a higher-concept Hunger Games, in which we know that there is a ruling group who have decades, centuries, even millenia of life accrued, while others live day-to-day, viewing themselves as very fortunate to wake up each day with just enough to get them to the next.
The always 25 idea works brilliantly to allow this film to be almost entirely populated with a gorgeous young cast of renowned good-lookers like Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Olivia Wilde, plus with cinematography by Roger Deakins, it is always a pleasure to watch.
Apart from the very first almost visceral demonstration of the injustice of timing out, sadly the film doesn’t always take full advantage of the dramatic power of having seconds to live, though using this device on quite a few occasions, only one or two really have you on the edge of your seat. However, there’s a great amount of intelligent writing, and fun Robin Hood-esque heist thrown in, that settle this film neatly between decent sci-fi offerings and the rare sci-fi greats. It will never be up there with those few classics, but is good enough to take repeat viewings and avoid the B-movie trappings of many.
It will only cost 109 of your precious minutes… a bargain if you can afford it!