I usually don’t do reviews of movies I’ve watched that include commercials, but what the hell.

Interesting concept: people are given a specific expiration date (about 25 years, unless you get killed or die in some accident); but they can steal, borrow, or buy more time.  On their forearms are glowing green, countdown timers, a constant reminder of how long they have to live.  The rich always have their means to get what they want; but the poor are on a constant prowl to find more time.  Welcome to the movie “In Time.”  Hell, welcome to the world you live in!  Exchange time for money and that’s our world!

Justin Timberlake stars in “In Time,” one of the poor class whose clock is running out; but he lives a decent life, working hard to find more time for himself and his mother.  In this world, time literally is money.  Flash too much time that is on your forearm and you may find yourself robbed of it.  And that’s what almost happens to a rich guy who gets himself in a seedy bar in a seedy neighborhood.  But Timberlake saves his dumb ass, and the rich guy gives almost all of his time (a century, I think) to Timberlake.  Why?  Because the rich guy felt it was time for himself to die, as he lived way too long.  Yeah, I know — boo hoo, it must suck to be rich.

Anyway, Timberlake now has all this time, so he decides to give some of it to his loved ones.  Unfortunately, he is too late doing that to someone, and that someone’s death reinforces his belief that “the system” — you know, the way time is regulated, and how the poor always gets seconds while the rich get years — is unfair and it should be changed or destroyed.

Infiltrating where the upper-crust live, Timberlake sees for himself the harsh difference between how the rich and poor live.  He’s having a great time with his newly found wealth when the cops give him a reality check: the rich, dead man who gave Timberlake all that time is presumed to have been murdered, and Timberlake is the suspect.  Escaping from the cops with a rich hostage, played by Amanda Seyfried, Timberlake goes head to head with the system, getting the chance to destroy it for the good of all.

This movie could have been a hell of a lot better.  There were too many little things nagging at me as I watched this.  For example, if time was so valuable, why is it so easy to steal?  Some jackass could hold you down, grab your forearm, and take all your time away until you croaked.  What the hell!  The government has all this technology to set up how long you live, but they can’t put a basic security feature in your body to prevent a theft, or at the very least make it harder to steal your time?

Moving on.  My most memorable, movie moment of “In Time” is the scene when Timberlake is playing high stakes poker.  They start off betting 50 years!  After a few raises and calls, several centuries are in the pot.  Timberlake is literally gambling with his life.  I’ve seen many card games in movies where the stakes are high, but the card game in “In Time” is the most intense.

“In Time” is an example of a movie that has a unique, “high concept,” but has mediocre execution.  Think of it as a racehorse that has the ability to win any race, but the owners, the handlers, the trainers, and the jockey don’t have the talent to get 100% from the horse.

— M