Time is money.
No it really is, in Gattaca director Andrew Niccol’s new sci-fi thriller In Time, that’s set somewhere in the unspecified future where time has replaced money as currency. This is a world where a cup of coffee will cost you four minutes, and a bus ride makes you poorer by an hour. This is a world that’s divided into zones; the wealthy ones with more time on their hands live in the fancy parts, while those living hand-to-mouth, one day at a time, are relegated to the ghetto.
Before I forget, this is a world where people stop ageing at 25. After that, you only live another year, unless somehow you can access more time. There are time lenders for that, which operate just like banks – you can borrow time at a ridiculously high rate of interest. Or you could just steal from another person, which explains why the crime rate in the ghetto is so high.
Every person in this world is born with a glowing digital clock on his forearm that displays how much time he has on him. When time is exchanged, borrowed, or stolen, the digits change accordingly. When your time runs out, you drop dead on the spot. The way I see it, the best thing about living in this world is that you could be as old as 80, and you’d still look 25. No fear of greying or wrinkles!
The film’s plot is centered on Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), a blue-collar worker who is given a hundred years as a gift from a suicidal man. On the run from the corrupt police force, or Timekeepers, Will enters the posh time zone and kidnaps a rich time-hoarder’s daughter (Amanda Seyfried). It’s not long before she understands his drive to fix this inequitable system, and helps him in robbing her father’s time banks and distributing the wealth among the have-nots.
Despite some gaping plot holes, In Time works as an engaging action thriller, and benefits from a convincing performance from Justin Timberlake as a boy from the ghetto. The film skillfully makes references to inequalities of class, and Man playing God, and it also contains many metaphors about the way we live today.
I’m going with three out of five for In Time. It’s a smart action movie that’s well worth your time.