In this version of the near future, time is money. A cup of coffee costs three minutes.
In “In Time,” to get more time, one has to work. When your time runs out, you die. Now there’s some motivation to show up for work every day!
Each character in “In Time” has a meter on the inside of his left forearm that shows his remaining time. And you can give or take another person’s time by grasping forearms and making the transfer.
Justin Timberlake plays a working class guy who befriends a stranger who has a century on his personal meter. The century man, though, is tired of living and passes his time on to Justin. He then falls off a bridge, dead.
The cops or “timekeepers” think Justin killed the century man to steal his time. Justin uses his stash of time to buy his way out of the working class “time zone” and hang with the rich folk. There he meets the daughter of a wealthy banker who got rich by lending time. The daughter, played by Amanda Seyfried, is enchanted by Justin and escapes her world to seek adventure with him. (She has short, dark hair in this role. Similar to Uma Thurman’s look in “Pulp Fiction.”)
Their exploits—mostly playing cat and mouse with the timekeepers—transpire within a gritty urban setting that contrasts sharply with the cool, glass skyscrapers where her father runs his operations.
Other than the time meters in arms, there are not a lot of futuristic gizmos in “In Time.” In fact, most of the vehicles are customized 70’s muscle cars and timeless (no pun intended) Lincoln limos. The security cameras that monitor everyone’s every move in “In Time” are a reality in America today.
If you like Justin or Amanda, go ahead and spend an hour and fifty minutes on them. This is not a Sci-Fi classic but the not-too-distant future depicted in “In Time” offers an interesting vision from the mind of writer/director Andrew Niccol, who also wrote and directed “Gattaca” back in the 90’s. Is “In Time” worth your time? If you have time to spare on your personal meter… yes!