In a dystopian future not all that far from now, humans have been genetically modified to stop aging at age 25, at which time a green glowing stopwatch kicks in on their forearm and starts ticking off their last year. The good news is that minutes to days to years can be transferred between folks with a simple wrist clasp. The bad news is that time is money and the wealthy control the currency, feeding off the life spans of the poor like fat ’n’ happy economic vampires, while the working class toils away their remaining minutes trying to score a few more precious moments. ’Cause that’s just the way the world works, right?
Enter into the mix Justin Timberlake, whose hottie mother has just dropped dead because of some arbitrary price hike in bus fare. He’s not too happy about this complication, of course, but what’s a man to do? Fortunately, some jaded millennium-aire has just bestowed a couple of life spans on him for saving his life, before he then times out (’cause he’s bored of living, or something).
So Timberlake, being our hero, takes off without a change of expression and heads to the rich side of town to do an ill-defined something about the situation as a time cop hounds his ass like we’re in some mash-up between Les Mis and Logan’s Run. He suits up like James Bond, whoops some obscenely wealthy man’s ass at poker, and steals off with his lovely but vacuous daughter as the two go all Bonnie and Clyde with her old man’s holdings.
And that’s pretty much it for In Time, which is content to cruise on the promise of its premise without bothering to instill a spark of substance, other than serving as a Marxist primer for preteen girls. Timberlake remembers his lines competently, but never registers as anything other than Justin Timberlake remembering his lines competently. But hey, he and the hottie with big eyes and bigger tits (Amanda Seyfried) look nice together, which passes for chemistry in disposable entertainment. And the production design looks nice, with vintage Lincolns and muscle cars retooled to give the scene a neo-retro look. I suppose as a meta-metaphor it works, what with Hollywood content to feed off the past in order to convey the future. And as a timewaster it’s ironically efficient.