By Mandi Kim
Everyone looks 25, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer…sounds like Hollywood right?
Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives in a future where everyone stops ageing at 25, and given only one extra year to live unless they are able to buy more ‘time’. Time is currency, it pays for your ride on the bus, your rent, and it can get you out of the ghetto…if you have a few years to spare. And they don’t. In the ghetto time zone even having a week on your sleeve (literally) can make you a target from those desperate to keep living for another day. Most live on ‘borrowed time’ from the bank, until they cannot keep up with payments and time out.
This is the place Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) wanders into with over 100 years on his time clock. Henry is from New Greenwich, has already lived for 105 years, and is so rich he could live forever. But he doesn’t want to. Rescued by Will, Henry identifies him as someone who will not waste what he has, and gifts it to him, setting in motion a chain of events that leads Will to the earth equivalent of heaven – Time Zone 1. They have so much time on their hands they move slowly, gliding through life in a glamorous dream. They don’t drive, don’t swim, (don’t live), as a random accident is the only threat to their immortality. Here, Will meets Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser) and his daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried), with police equivalent Time Keeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphey) hot on his tail. Ultimately, Will has something no one else in Time Zone 1 doesn’t have – he doesn’t fear death, and uses this to escape their rich clutches with an initially unwilling Sylvia and begin his Robin Hood quest to right the balance of life.
There are three villains in this movie; Fortis (Alex Pettyfer) the King Thug of the Ghetto who steals from time from his community. Philippe, owner of the time banks, unwilling to make life easier for those less fortunate in order to maintain his place at the top, and Time Keeper Raymond, determined to keep time in its rightful pecking order.
Vincent Kartheiser is the perfect rich old man in a young person’s body, and it’s hard to imagine any other young actor pulling this off with quite the same haughtiness. But of all the villains it is Time Keeper Raymond who is the most fascinating. Born from the ghetto and clinging to role in order to survive, Raymond lives to maintain the status quo, to make sure those in poorer zones don’t have much time, and those in richer zones do. It is a fascinating commentary on current American society, and how people who are not even at the top have not only become indoctrinated into thinking that the way life has always run is the way it should always be, but to actively identify as a protector of this lifestyle. It is interesting that he is the last villain Will and Sylvia must defeat.
Justin Timberlake as an actor can be very charming with great comedic timing, but this role doesn’t play to his strengths. He looks and moves and runs and talks like an action star, but you don’t quite believe him when he speaks. His chemistry with Amanda Seyfried, who plays the doe eyed and bored rich girl come soldier in arms well, also doesn’t sizzle the screen. They do look good together though, as she remarks as they watch their WANTED images on the TV screen, modern day Bonnie and Clyde.
The concept is what really makes the film, and it is refreshing to see something so original brought to life on the big screen and with a decent budget.
”In Time” is a fast, interesting and well executed film.