In Time Review ‘Live Forever or Die Trying’

In a future where time is literally money and aging stops at 25, the only way to stay alive is to earn, steal or inherit more time. A thriller needs a ticking clock and this film is a time bomb of action, romance and a serious political message. Review by Alan Greenhalgh.

Will Salas, played by Justin Timberlake,  is the ‘devil-may-care street-punk anti-hero’ who lives minute-to-minute, until he gains access to the world of the wealthy where he meets and kidnaps heiress Sylvia Wies, played beautifully by Amanda Seyfried, and tries to destroy the system.  Future-realist filmmaker Andrew Niccol is on the money here with our obsession of youth is beauty and time can be bought. He says ‘In Time is an action thriller and audiences can enjoy it on that level. They’ll go for the stunts, action, car chases and to see the radiant Amanda Seyfried wielding a gun.’ But he thinks ‘audiences will appreciate some of the ideas and themes we explore.’  Those themes are big – revenge, power, greed and corruption. There’s also the love story which has the buff Will and corseted Sylvia indulge in a decadent game of strip poker and some skinny dipping in the sea.

There are 13 zeros on everybody’s arm – the countdown clock to death. You have to earn time anyway you can – the residents of time-poor Dayton have an average per capita timeclock of just 23 hours and those in upmarket New Greenwich have 347 years. Making time is a matter of life or death.

Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser plays Sylvia’s incalculably rich father, Philippe, who is controlling killer inflation until Will and Sylvia target his time lending stores. It’s a great ensemble cast and acting honours also go to Cillian Murphy’s Time Keeper, Raymond Leon, on the runaway couple’s case throughout the film, but unsatisfactorily we never quite know why he references Will’s father. Olivia Wilde is fantastic as Wills mother, Rachel – it’s her 50th birthday and she can’t afford to waste a minute waiting for the bus. The UK’s Alex Pettyfer is a menacingly sexy, handsome Fortis, the gang boss of the time thieving Minute Men.  Up-and-coming actor Matt Bomer is the dapper Henry Hamilton who gives the game away of the haves and have-nots.

On the downside the movie didn’t need all that running, we could have done with less themes and more powerful examination of them and much as we love Johnny Galecki as Leonard in The Big Bang Theory the role of Will’s best friend Borel could have been timed out.

For the locations the ’empty paradise’ of New Greenwich is an amalgam of locations in Beverly Hills, Century City and Malibu, including the Weis family residence at the Fleur de Lys Estate on Carolwood Drive, Bel Air. Dayton is the power plant in Pasadena, the ‘exclusively industrial’ city of Vernon and Griffith Park. If you love cars you’ll see ’70s Dodge Challengers,  a 1964 Lehmann-Peterson celebrity limo-of-choice and a 1967 Jaguar XKE Roadster, which takes quite a knock on the 7th Street bridge.

If you liked Logan’s Run  and Bonnie & Clyde you’ll love this.

Three and a half minutes out of five.

From 1st November and Rated PG-13 for violence, some sexualty and partial nudity, and strong language.

Here’s a link to the film, our exclusive interview and the trailer


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