In Time (2011) Review: In The Future, Puns Run Rampant

Yell! Magazine’s review of In Time:

Hey everybody! What if I told you that a very nice man named Andrew Niccol went and made a film that really gets you thinking? What if I said that the film is set in a dystopian future where time – not to be confused with thyme – is a somewhat tangible substance that is used as both currency and a life meter?

Now, what if I told you that the plot kind of peters out and the dialogue is rife with time puns, because everyone, everywhere, for some reason, has only one thing on their mind – finding out how many ways they can use the word “time” without it getting old. The answer, of course, is three.

Three times.

Yes, that’s right. It’s a great premise that tries to evoke memories of Philip K. Dick hunched over his typewriter while hidden away in a dark room, except every line spoken is saddled with terms like, “the time keepers” or, “Hey, can I get a minute?” or, “I haven’t the time for this.”

Because in the future, you see, nobody anywhere dares use any slang. Instead of using colloquialisms such as “moolah,” “cash,” or “dead presidents,” we just get a bunch of not-so-tongue-in-cheek puns that all revolve around the word “time.”

But we’ll get to all that in a moment. First, let’s enjoy a hearty synopsis.

In the year 2161, times have changed. Genetic alteration has given humans the chance to never physically age past their mid-20s and – for one reason or another – always look like they stepped out of a Calvin Klein catalog. Once one hits the ripe old age of 25, they’ll either die within the year or they’ll have to find other ways to “make time.” (I’m sorry, but I can’t stop). The poor live day-to-day, finding the best ways to manage their time by running from point A to point B, and performing menial tasks as fast as possible. The rich, however, have all the time in the world, and spend their time attending elegant soirees and keeping themselves alive for little to no reason. Because of the economic imbalance, the poor can run out of time simply by getting held up on the way to work, and the rich can live as long as they want.

One day, working-class man, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) happens across a 105-year-old/25-year-old by the name of Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer). With too much time on his hands, Henry’s beginning to get suicidal, but as a final act, he donates his entire fortune to Will, and then promptly kills himself. Initially, Will is overwhelmed by Henry’s sudden financial leavings, but in time he comes to fight for freedom and dedicates his life to stealing from the rich, and providing time for the poor.

In Time (2011) picture
"Time is money."

You see; puns are annoyingly jarring when you’re trying to concentrate, aren’t they?

And in the case of In Time, it can be especially annoying because you’re continuously pulled out of a film that’s built around a great concept. It truly brings to mind the fact that most of us essentially sell our time to different companies/corporations for as little as minimum wage. If you work an eight-hour day, then that’s a good third of your day carved out and handed to some guy so that he can produce cardboard boxes or something. At the same time, some are born with a silver spoon in their mouths and have the luxury of, well, luxury. They’ve nothing to worry about, and don’t have the ever-looming clouds of financial insecurity floating above their heads.

And with people going f’ing bonkers over Wall Street right about now, you couldn’t ask for better timing.

Read about the verdict for In Time after the jump…

In Time (2011) Poster Large
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
28 October 2011
Andrew Niccol
Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Shyloh Oostwald, Johnny Galecki, Colin McGurk, Olivia Wilde, Jesse Lee Soffer, and Cillian Murphy
Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Official URL:
In Time Official

Pages: 1 2

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