In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage - a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.
Welcome to a world where time has become the ultimate currency. You stop aging at 25, but there's a catch: you're genetically-engineered to live only one more year, unless you can buy your way out of it. The rich "earn" decades at a time (remaining at age 25), becoming essentially immortal, while the rest beg, borrow or steal enough hours to make it through the day. When a man from the wrong side of the tracks is falsely accused of murder, he is forced to go on the run with a beautiful hostage. Living minute to minute, the duo's love becomes a powerful tool in their war against the system. Written by
Twentieth Century Fox
Sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison launched a lawsuit against New Regency and director Andrew Niccol, claiming that the film's plot bore an uncanny similarity to his short story "Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman". Initially, Ellison was seeking an injunction against the film's release, which he then watered down to a request for onscreen credit. Ultimately the case was dropped with no money exchanging hands between any of the parties. See more »
In the poker scene Will is seen to pick up a glass of champagne with his right hand. Less than 2 seconds later he is shown to be playing with his chips with his right hand. See more »
I don't have time. I don't have time to worry about how it happened. It is what it is. We're genetically engineered to stop aging at 25. The trouble is, we live only one more year, unless we can get more time. Time is now the currency. We earn it and spend it. The rich can live forever. And the rest of us? I just want to wake up with more time on my hand than hours in the day.
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Time is wasting and you may want your time back at the end of the film
I'll start straight off the cuff. Niccol is one of my favourite writer/directors. In fact, one of my favourite films is Gattaca, which has been so under-rated over the years since its release. To me he's been a great Sci-Fi writer, so going into this I was hopeful of something of quality.
Alas, "In Time" is not for the true Sci-Fi thinker. It paints a world in which time is money. That isn't that new an idea, but Niccols does succeed in pushing the metaphor as a commodity. Those with time are rich, those without time are poor. It's a simplistic analogy. As with Niccol's other films, the cinematography is beautiful. The best actors in the film aren't the main characters, rather Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser and (surprisingly) Alex Pettyfer present more interesting characters. They all shine, especially Murphy. The film seems like one long car chase, when what you actually want to delve into are the complexities - the debates between the characters themselves over the issues of the world they live in. Not a single clever conversation happens between anyone. Murphy is a great actor and I would have been interested to see the debate about right and wrong become greyed through some thinking. Life is not black and white. The film ending is unrealistic and I wonder if this was the ending envisioned by Niccol or the ending the producers wanted to boost sales.
Sadly this film could have been a great deal more. It had a good topic. It had some great actors, yet it failed because the story lost the nuances and complexities to meet the lowest common denominator, rather than raising questions or making the viewer think critically. See it, but be prepared to be disappointed. It isn't subtle.
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