Plot: What’s it about?
I was listening to the radio last Fall and the DJ said that the 7 billionth person in the world had been born. 7 billionth! Wow. Maybe it’s the way my mind works, but one of the first things I thought about was that in the future, we’re going to run out of resources for all the people on this planet. Famine is already an issue, so with more people (and our population shows no signs of slowing down) it’s simple math as to when our planet simply won’t be able to support life. So…what to do? Writer/Director Andrew Niccol must have thought this way as well and when writing In Time population control was a central theme. Control the population and Darwin’s principle applies in that only the strongest will survive. If the name Andrew Niccol rings a bell then perhaps you’ve heard of a few of his films? How about Gattaca or S1m0ne, both of which involve a certain person or persons playing God. His latest effort is an intriguing concept to say the least and as I write this on, literally, my 39th birthday we all know that the clock is always ticking…
Will (Justin Timberlake) is 28 years old. That’s young by any standard that we know of, but in a world where you stop aging at 25 years old it’s a bit different. You see, the human race has “evolved” to the point where you’re given 25 years to live. After that you have one more year and then you expire. Time is the new currency and you can buy or spend as much as you like – providing you’ve got the time. Will lives, literally, day to day and has just seen his mother (Olivia Wilde) expire. While at a bar he runs across Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomber), someone with too much time on his hands. Henry is 105 years old and is ready to call it quits. He commits suicide, but not before giving Will more than a century of time. Will is unjustly accused of Henry’s death and is pursued by “Timekeeper” Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) and, as they say, the chase is on. Will eventually makes it across a few more time zones and meets up with Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), the daughter of a very important man, who begrudgingly becomes his partner in crime. Both are now being hunted, but have loftier goals. I hate to say it, but will they make everything work in time?
As I said earlier, I loved the concept for this movie. While some of the history isnít explained that much, it’s ok. I’m all about the suspension of disbelief. Additionally I consider Gattaca to be one of my top films from the last 15 years. Justin Timberlake shows that he’s got some serious acting chops and while not in the form he was in The Social Network, he still pulls off a strong performance here. I’m always a big fan of Amanda Seyfried, well…I’m a big fan of Amanda Seyfried’s figure and she once again delivers here. In Time isn’t a perfect movie, but I enjoyed the concept enough that it kept me entertained. Ironically, the characters in this film were never seen watching a television or talking on a phone so it begs the question as to how much of our time that we actually “waste” doing things like watching movies? I suppose when time really does matter, you tend to do a lot more with it. All that aside, this film is certainly worth checking out.
Video: How does it look?
Visually, In Time has a fairly standard, yet unique, look and feel to it. A majority of the movie takes place in the Dayton time zone, it’s very industrial and the polar opposite of New Greenwich. The 2.35:1 AVC HD image provided by Fox is amazingly clear. Justin Timberlake’s perpetual stubble on his face and head is so detailed, you’d think you could reach out and hand him a razor. The set design is “near future” though some of the details, like signs in the background, were crystal clear. The palette used is somewhat washed out, perhaps to give that very sterile “future” effect. Contrast and black levels are both top notch lending themselves to a very impressive film. Fox consistently puts out some very nice-looking Blu-rays and this is no exception.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack has a few good moments, but not as many as I’d have expected. Dialogue is rich and full as we might expect and a few gun shots (the only weapon, it seems, in the future) are used with great effect. There’s a fairly extended car chase sequence that makes use of the surrounds and the front stage, but to be honest I’ve heard better. As we might expect, it’s a nice all-around good track with some moments of greatness, but nothing entirely too memorable.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The supplements for In Time are a bit on the slim side. In addition to the theatrical trailer and the “Live Extras” (trailers for other Fox films), we do get a somewhat tongue in cheek featurette entitled “The Minutes” in which members of the cast and crew are interviewed in character. We learn, via a nameless scientist, how the time-based society was conceived and the rush to get things done. This is clever, but it seemed to drag on even at 15 minutes. There are a series of 10 extended and deleted scenes as well as a digital copy of the film.