Socialist Worker

In Time

by Patrick Ward
Issue No. 2278

A sci-fi action thriller starring Justin Timberlake is an unlikely vehicle for Marxist propaganda. But In Time pulls it off—almost.

It’s 2161, and genetic meddling means humans no longer age past 25. But on your 25th birthday a display on your arm springs into life.

It shows your “living time”—which constantly counts down. When it hits zero, you drop dead.

You work to top it up. But the rich can accumulate time—which also acts as currency—and live forever.

Will (Timberlake) is a super-exploited worker, living day by day. When a wealthy 105-year old man kills himself by giving Will all his time, the state then goes after him. How could a lowly worker have so much time, other than by stealing it?

Will ends up kidnapping a rich man’s daughter, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). But they both soon end up playing Robin Hood, and force a bit of wealth redistribution.

So far so good. But these fascinating ideas are then laid out on a tired Hollywood template. It’s a bit like Marx’s Capital punctuated with car chases and gun fights. It’s Fritz Lang’s Metropolis meets Michael Bay’s Transformers.

The film will probably get you thinking. But don’t waste too much time on it.

In Time
Director Andrew Niccol
Out now

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Article information

Tue 15 Nov 2011, 19:02 GMT
Issue No. 2278
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