In a nutshell: Eternal youth for the rich, death for the poor. Great concept marred by poor execution.

Popcorn rating: 2.5/5

Robin Hood meets sci fi might sound like a recipe for disaster. But writer and director Andrew Niccol almost manages to pull off this story of a dystopia in which time is literally money.

No doubt inspired by the work of Philip K Dick, In Time shows a world in which people stop aging at 25 but are genetically engineered to live just one more year. This is unless they can ‘buy their way out’ – the rich and successful basically have eternal youth. On each person’s arm are glowing digits which morbidly show how much time they have left to live. It is also like a cash machine as people can simply touch each other to transfer ‘time’.

Niccol messes with your head from the outset – to give you an example, you meet the protagonist Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) and then his mum Rachel (Olivia Wilde from House) – in physical terms they are the same age but Rachel is 50. Salas lives day-by-day struggling to survive – quite literally – but when he saves Henry Hamilton, who has a century on the clock, his life completely changes.

Salas is accused of murder and from almost out of nowhere, he recruits a disillusioned rich man’s daughter Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried). The pair set out on a Robin Hood adventure to crash the living, breathing market and give everyone the chance of a full life. Hot on their heels are the time keepers (I kid you not) led by Cillian Murphy, in a rather dull and disappointing role.

In Time proves to be a flawed but interesting concept. Despite the audience being offered no explanation about why the world is like this, the film is intriguing – as well as a terrifying take on our obsession with mortality and the evolution of capitalism.

In the film, people live in ‘time zones’ which separate the rich and poor. It’s all too familiar – think about Britain’s poor estates and leafty mansions. Unfortunately, it’s the unconvincing story and execution which lets it down. Sylvia betrays her family and her whole way of life seemingly on a whim. In one scene the picturesque pair also ram raid a bank which is made entirely out of glass and has its safe wide open. Seriously, who made this bank?

All in all, watching In Time won’t be a complete waste of time, just don’t expect any real surprises as the final seconds tick down.

Reviewer: DavidMorgan

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