In Time (2011)

In a world where time is literally money, the human gene has been mutated to allow people to live forever and not age past their 25th birthday - but they must have resources to keep their body-clock ticking. In the reality of the world, the rich rack up hundreds of years and live in luxury, while those in the ghetto 'timezones' live day to day, and sometimes hour by hour. 

When Will Salas bravely comes to the rescue of a bored and suicidal old man who has ventured into the ghetto, he has the chance to change society for the better - but will he be tempted to leave his beliefs behind and enjoy a little luxury with his new life?

Our Rating: 7/10 - Brilliant idea, should be remade as a TV series
Watchability: 8/10 - Still worth watching again
Contributed By: JT
Tagline: Live forever or die trying.

Release Date: 2011-10-28
IMDb icon 6.7/10
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Runtime: 149
  • Budget: $40,000,000
  • Revenue: $37,520,095
  • Production: Regency Enterprises

So, how does the movie end??

Will Salas has finally made it - he is sipping champagne at the mansion of Philippe Weiz, about to play him at poker again and make more money .. when suddenly the Timekeepers show with a few questions for the wealthy Will about the death of Henry Hamilton.  They confiscate his time and don't believe his story.

Philippe is about to wash his hands of his new friend, when Will grabs Sylvia (Philippe's daughter) and threatens to kill her.  The party guests move away to allow Will to get to his sports car and make a run for it. He drives to the place he knows best - through the timezones back to the Ghetto. Sylvia keeps complaining.

Approaching home, Will drives over a metal spike trap laid by the Minutemen gangsters and totals the sports car (in one of the worst special effects sequences I have seen in a movie made in the last 20 or 30 years!).  The gangsters approach the two unconscious passengers - and steal 10 years from the arm of Sylvia.  They get away before the Timekeepers show.

Will wakes just in time - and gives Sylvia a few more minutes. They leave the car wreck and walk into town. Sylvia's heart is warmed when she sees the conditions in the ghetto. Will heads straight to his old friend Borel - but sadly learns that he drank himself to death, leaving his family in poverty. Desperate, with seconds remaining, Will pawns Sylvia's expensive diamond earrings. That night he calls in the ransom demand - for time to be given to a street ministry charity across the road that hands out free time.

They wait. The next morning the deadline passes, and the ministry is still out of time.  Sylvia is obviously a little angry that her father didn't pay up.  Will agrees to let her go, gives her a gun, and waits while she phones home. As he waits, Raymond the lead Timekeeper shows up to take care of Will.  Sylvia panics and shoots Raymond.  Will gives him a little time, before Sylvia and Will escape in his car, leaving the injured Timekeeper to make his way out of the ghetto to jeers.

They ditch the police car and hijack a rich limo - stealing for the first time. They also realise that they are wanted criminals.  They plan their first raid - on a Weiz bank.  They crash a security van through the front doors, rob the safe and tell other customers to help themselves.  They pay over the odds for the exclusive use of a hotel, but are noticed by a disgruntled guest who has been turned away for the night. They also start to give away time - to the charity and others in the street, who fight back against the Minutemen.

To control order, the gangsters order a line-up and ask for information about Will.  They murder a few strangers first, before the guest before tells the gangsters where they can find the Robin Hood inspired thieves.

The gangsters show. The head honcho is going to give Will a chance -- an arm wrestling type match.  Will is losing, but uses his father's trick.  He waits until the seconds are almost gone, then turns the tables on the gangster. Just when he is about to clean him out, he snatches a gun from one of the goons by his side and shoots them both. He then cleans out the enemy gangster.  The Timekeepers show soon to start another chase.

Sylvia believes in Will's cause now to bring down the system - but they need more time. Sylvia has an idea. She returns to her father, allowing Will to sneak up on him and escort the old man to his vault - inside they find a large time device - holding 1 million years!

They hurry back to the ghetto but are chased by the Timekeepers.  Will manages to pass the years to a little girl he knows, who gives it to the street pastor and suddenly everyone's lives are changed forever.

Raymond doesn't give up the chase on Will and Sylvia, who don't have much time left themselves.  They get out the city and leave the car, but are stopped by Raymond who monologues about Will's father trying to destroy the system. Suddenly he remembers - he has forgotten about his own welfare - and his seconds time out.  Will and Sylvia have less than a minute left.  Will sprints to Raymond's car, recharges himself and then races towards Sylvia in an echo of the earlier scene with his mother ... but this time manages to reach her just in time.

They are going to keep 24hrs each to make life exciting.  Meanwhile people are now crossing timezones, not bothering to look at their arms every few minutes, causing financial meltdown and the Timekeepers know that they will soon be out of a job.

As it ends, Will and Sylvia, as Bonny and Clyde, approach the steps of a much larger, time-wealthy bank.

Our Comments:

Theme:  10/10 ...  Execution: 5/10. The idea is fantastic, and the ticking digital clock effect is very cool (I'm guessing they are one of the few production firms to use the 'AR' technique that was meant to take the web by storm a few years back, but always looked clunky), and the young cast should be a good thing .... but where did it all go wrong? 

Maybe it's the fact that most cinema goers just don't seem to like Justin Timberlake, and many other actors could have given a better (a more believable) performance but really the script runs out of steam in the second act, lacks direction and just becomes silly -- and an homage to Bonny and Clyde by the end.

And -- how dodgy was the special effects in the speeding sports car scene when it hit the spikes, blew the tyres and crashed into the LA roadside reservoir?!!  Honestly, give me a few hours, a few toy cars, and I could come up with something better.  That didn't help.  For a movie with a $40million budget, they could have thrown a little more notes at a professional FX team!

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