Try to imagine a future where the super-rich live in gated, patrolled fortress-communities, completely isolated from the short, brutish lives of the underclass who must toil or die, just a paycheck away from having their life-force literally terminated by the powers that be. No, it’s not America under a Mitt Romney presidency, but the premise of “In Time,” the latest dystopian-future movie from director/screenwriter Andrew Niccol (“Gattaca,” “The Truman Show”).
Niccol’s near-future sci-fi film plays like some sort of mutant Karl Marx/Philip K. Dick hybrid, where the “cost of living” has become a literal concept. People have been genetically modified to never age past 25, but there’s a catch: While your first 25 years are on the house, after that the clock starts ticking. Everyone has a glowing digital time-code imprinted on their forearm, and time is the currency in which you earn and pay for everything — rent, bus fare, a cup of coffee. Run out of time and it’s game over. The rich, meanwhile, have become the undead, with centuries at their disposal.