Timberlake’s feisty rebel Will Salas inhabits a genetically engineered future society where ageing stops at 25 and time literally is money, the currency by which everyone lives – a cup of coffee costs four minutes, a bus ride two hours. While the rich are virtually immortal, poor folk like Will have to scrabble from day to day, trying to earn (or beg, borrow or steal) the extra hours and minutes they need to stay alive – their lifespan visibly ticking away on the glowing digital clock embedded in everyone’s left forearm.
The poor are kept in their place, but an encounter with a jaded 105-year-old gives Will the credit to escape his designated time zone and take off for swanky New Greenwich, where the wealthy lead their pampered, pointless lives. Dodging Timekeepers (cops) and Minutemen (robbers), Will goes on the run with rich girl Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried in a cute red bob), who quickly turns from hostage to accomplice, the Bonnie to his time-bank-robbing Clyde. Can they bring down the system before their time runs out?
With In Time, writer-director Andrew Niccol has come up with some provocative ideas about inequality and the worship of youth but despite the odd clever touch he doesn’t give them the impact of his previous sci-fi fables, Gattaca (which he wrote and directed) and The Truman Show (which he scripted). In the end, the plot is too loose and the action too slack to keep the audience fully gripped. Timberlake and Seyfried are supposed to be the ones looking fretfully at their wrists to see how much time they have to go, not the viewer.
On general release from Tuesday 1st November.
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