Monday, November 7, 2011

'In Time' Movie Review

Can they beat the clock - and the system?
Thanks to the October snow storm that left much of our region without power last weekend, we were a little late getting to the theater for "In Time." It was worth the week-long wait.

The good news: In the year 2161, you stop aging when you reach 25.

The bad news: Once you reach 25, you die unless you can replenish your "living time." For the poor, this is a day-to-day struggle to earn, borrow or steal time since everything from a cup of coffee to a prostitute costs time that is deducted from your account, represented by an ever-changing countdown of green numbers on your arm. For the rich, the system offers the promise of immortality - remember, your age is frozen at 25. As seen in the movie, your wife, mother-in-law and daughter could all appear to be the same age.

Your personal countdown.
Born into such a world is Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), who has scrapped by - barely - to reach age 28 in the ghetto. A chance encounter with a very rich (and very bored) man results in Salas being given an additional century of living time. Nonetheless, Salas suffers a personal tragedy that is compounded by both the mob (Minutemen) and the police (Timekeepers) being on his trail.

Overall, the movie is a pleasant surprise. After a somewhat clumsy set-up, where Will is briefed on how the system oppresses the poor, the story takes off. Will gets his motivation (don't worry - no spoiler) and submerges himself in the world of the rich, where he meets Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried) and her time-loaning millionaire father, Phillipe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser). Soon, the chase is on.

Cillian Murphy is outstanding as Timekeeper Raymond Leon, who dutifully and doggedly pursues Salas. Timberlake and Seyfried deserve good grades, too, as their eyes are opened to each other's worlds and they band together against her father. The plot is clever enough, with a few surprises along the way, to keep you guessing instead of looking at your smart phone to check when the movie is over.

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