I had mixed feelings about watching In Time. On one hand, I love sci-fi dystopias and the concept of time literally being money was interesting. On the other hand, Justin Timberlake. But, I thought that since I had enjoyed such movies as Minority Report and Eagle Eye, in spite of their leading actors, there was a possibility that I might enjoy In Time.
Speaking of Minority Report and Eagle Eye -- I hadn’t seen the trailers for either of them and had seen them on a whim. In both, I expected a basic action movie and was pleasantly surprised by the sci-fi.
You can basically say that In Time was the opposite. I knew it was sci-fi, was interested in it for that reason, but found that I was not particularly impressed.
The premise is simple. In the future, an entire population has magically agreed to have a time bomb implanted in them and use time as a currency.
Oh wait, I’m sorry... you lost me already. You figured out how to make people immortal? Good for you. Know what’s easier than installing a figurative time bomb in every living person to make sure that the planet isn’t overrun with the ever lasting? Not making everyone immortal.
I don’t believe for a second that immortality, in theory, would be bestowed upon every living person. This would be something that only the rich would be able to participate in. You don’t need an elaborate economy based on time to make sure that this pyramid scheme works. You make the procedure expensive. REALLY expensive. Problem solved.
The problem with this movie was that it was an extremely thin veil for the current economic crisis. Substitute “immortal” with “rich” and it’s the current situation: for a few to be rich, many must be poor.
While "Dune" explored the corruption that limited resources could produce, it still had an interesting story to hold it up. It wasn’t simply a soapbox.
I was expecting more, but there wasn’t much to the story. I was more interested in any of the following sub-plots: the Time cop’s origins; Justin Timberlake’s character’s father; who would normally donate time to the priest to be distributed to the poor; why technology had advanced enough to give us immortality but not automate factory jobs.
Instead, we got: a Stockhold Syndrome Bonnie-and-Clyde-cum-Robin-Hood story with Pulp’s “Common People” as a theme song.
(It wasn’t really the theme song.. but it really should have been.)
So yeah. Time as money. Interesting, isn’t it? Save both and skip this movie.