TMG Scale 7.5 P Factor 0.0 MPAA Rating: PG13
Starring Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Katheiser, Amanda Seyfried
This is a really cool idea for a film. A day in the future when the commodity of value is not cash or gold, it is time. Everyone gets to live to age 25. After that you have one year to live, or less. It all depends upon whether you use all your time credits or you earn more. Regardless, if you live to age 100, or longer, your body physically remains looking twenty five.
On the plus side is Justin Timberlake coming back and showing that his misstep in Bad Teacher (2011) was just one of those embarrassing Hollywood screw ups. Timberlake has real drama and acting talent and is definitely here for the long haul. (Too bad Elvis was never given such chances.) Timberlake gave us a glimpse of his depth last year in The Social Newtwork (2010) , but his talents were not fully developed for Friends with Benefits (2011).
The script starts with the eerie, sobering reminder, and all too familiar words, “We don’t have time…we don’t have time…” Think if today you had to buy everything with time, instead of bank credit or cash. Coffee costs four minutes. A bus ride costs an hour. A car costs two years. People can give or take time from each other. Don’t run out of time or you will die on the spot. If this were real, would you treasure and spend time more wisely? The real interesting question may be that time really is the currency we live by now, we just fail to see it that way. The simple fact is that you can earn countless piles of cash and gold in this world, but you really cannot buy time. Despite the wealthy in today’s world sometimes being able to cheat a few years with better health care, we all are going to die in the same average number of years.
While the script is the superficial tale of Will Salas (Timberlake) and his Mom (Wilde) trying to pass time in a futuristic world, the messages of the film go far deeper. It is really a tale of class warfare. People who have time, like the mega “eonaire” Phillipe Weis (Katheiser) and his rich daughter Sylvia (Seyfried) and those who constantly struggle to keep time (or run out of it) like the Salas family. Will gets the chance to move up into a better time zone thanks to a man who has just decided that after a hundred years or so, he prefers to “time out.” He leaves Will the prophetic warning “Don’t waste my time.” How Will chooses to spend his time, for himself or for the benefit of all, is now the story.
I really did not mind that the future depicted in this film was not futuristic looking and all the cars were vintage 1970’s models with updated lighting and electric sounding motors. It saved a huge budget rather than try to make the world look like it probably will in 2013 or so. And I think the point was that the future is really now.
As an entertaining film, my 7.5 rating is spot on. As a thought provoking experience, I might have given it a 10.0. After seeing this film, you should go out and visit with friends. Your own clock is ticking down. Are you really using it wisely? Unlike the countdown clock on the arm of the people in this film, you never know when your time is about up.
This film . . is worth your time.