IN TIME: Are You In The Future?
How does “In Time”, Justin Timberlake’s new futuristic heist film rack up? We’re snitching.
Under the pressing of a friend who recently saw this film (and wouldn’t stop feeding me details about it), this past weekend I went to see In Time, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Stylistically, the visual aesthetic for this futuristic, sci-fi, action thriller is on point. Expect to see a stark contrast between life lived by the opulent aristocracy of New Greenwich and the strivers who reside in the “urban” Dayton time zone. You may even end this film thinking about those pricey cars or wanting to play dress up, thanks to the sharp wardrobe the entire cast of characters seem to own. All in all, the film is tastefully executed and definitely easy on the eyes. But from a plot standpoint, I do have some questions…
In Time is a film written and directed by Andrew Niccol, whom in the past has delivered The Truman Show and Gattaca, two great sci-fi gems that delve into mind-altering concepts that seem pretty original. While Truman (played by Jim Carrey) finds that he’s living his whole life before a television audience and Vincent (played by Ethan Hawke in Gattaca) trades (read: steals) his subpar life for another’s in attempt to secure his astronautical dreams, Timberlake’s character Will Salas is more akin to Robin Hood of the future, or at least the way we’ve imagined him for eons thus far.
Blond, attractive, poor and humble, Salas lives in the ghetto during an era when time really is money and the life cap is set at age 25, unless you can buy yourself some more time. Time rests on everyone’s hands (forearm, really) in this film, but of course the rich can double, even triple up to ensure their longevity (or immortality) just as long as they don’t die accidentally or get robbed of their time by seemingly underprivileged folk. And of course, Timberlake as Salas, does just that, becoming the ethical hero in the film by robbing the rich blind along side his heiress-cum-hostage-cum-love interest, Sylvia Weis (played by Seyfried, of Big Love and Mean Girls fame).
Cillian Murphy, who plays the head timekeeper, Raymond Leon, keeps the film going. He resurrects that same serious and focused demeanor he maintained in 28 Days for In Time, but totally rocks as the new-age law enforcement type. In fact, Murphy should keep his sci-fi film momentum (The Dark Knight, Tron, Inception) going, because he’s that good. And the cameos by Olivia Wilde, Yaya DaCosta, Johnny Galecki and Collins Pennie were a nice touch. But are there really only three-four Black people in the future? Where are the Latinos, the Asians? etc… Where is everyone? Did “minorities” die off before the not-so-distant future arrived in Hollywood, even though current statistics prove the future will look otherwise? (Hmmm…) And while Pop-star, R&B crooner Justin Timberlake has Soul (and lots of it), I’m still not so sure I believe him as a ghetto dweller, now or in the future.
On premise alone, the ideas (and issues of the haves versus the have nots) addressed in In Time are worthy of delving into and even taking the time to watch in full, but Niccol’s future definitely does not look like mine.