EVERYONE whinges about not having enough time for this, that and everything else. Time for us to quit our whining, becauseGattaca/Lord Of Warfilmmaker Andrew Niccol reveals that the near-future has more serious problems with the management of moments.
Money is dead. Time is currency which can be earned, traded, stolen, even gambled. Each human stops outwardly ageing at 25-years-old, and an inbuilt stop-watch (which conveniently glows out of everyone's forearm) reminds of exactly how much life an individual has left.
The menial existence of Will (Timberlake) means he, literally, works to live. Such puns run rampant duringIn Time, which is an explosion of incredible concepts and extrapolations about subject matter Niccol frequently explores - a society trying to operate like clockwork, by engineering and controlling the parameters of life (see also Niccol'sThe Truman Showscreenplay).
But after time-poor Will benefits from an unexpected exchange and he gets desperately involved with rich girl Sylvia (Seyfried), Niccol's latest sci-fi vision doesn't know how not to give into being another race-against-time countdown.
Contemporary commentary about busyness, exploitation, the wealth divide and the importance of actually living are entertainingly presented throughout, although Will and Sylvia's uprising cleaves so closely to formula that Niccol's analogous firepower suffers.
CollidingThe MatrixwithBonnie And Clyde, sleekly grittyIn Timeseemingly includes romance and chases and a cute kid and illogical showdowns and speeches just because that's what always happens. Niccol can't be expected to entirely redefine sci-fi but the elaborate realisation of his ultra-high-concept is such that you'll be shocked to realise you're not more blown away by it.
Timberlake and Seyfried make for a poster-friendly lead couple, without going off the charts with magnetism or chemistry. They're lean, easy-to-take and rightly subservient to the overall story, which UK actors Cillian Murphy (as an Agent-Smith-alike) and Alex Pettyfer (as an underused baddie) leave their mark upon by getting shrewdly theatrical.