“For a few to be immortal, a few must die”
In the sixties and seventies a range of science fiction films were released each focussing on characters failing to assimilate in dystopian futures. It is clear that escape from dystopia films such as Logan’s Run (1976), THX-1138 (1971) and Fahrenheit 451 (1966) are influence to In Time (2011) writer director Andrew Niccol.
In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are genetically modified to live only one more year, time is the new currency. Accused of murder and on the run with a hostage, Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) must do whatever it takes to disrupt the system, without being caught by the time-keeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy).
Andrew Niccol’s futuristic vision of America both exaggerates and presents the greedy nature of hierarchal systems within society. The country is split into time zones with the immortal rich segregated from the poor who must fight for survival and living each hour as if their last. On many occasions the differences between the lives of the rich and poor are highlighting and offer up the film’s best moments; best recognised when Will first moves to the rich district New Greenwich. Having spent his entire life in the ghetto where time is precious, his habits and hurried attitude make him immediately stand out amongst the rich who care little about time.
Unfortunately the film’s interesting concept is let down by a clichéd narrative, most recognisable in the second half which lacks the pace and excitement of the first. As a remedy to this the action sequences come thick and fast and while they are shot well they fail to engage or add anything to the narrative. In Time, also, loses track of time and instead of reflecting the desperation and suspense of its characters living on seconds the scenes often drag resulting in unconvincing narrative.