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The Time Machine (2002)

Cast: Roy Farfel, Steve Kelso, Robert Alonzo, more...
Director: Simon Wells
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: DreamWorks
Genre: Science Fiction , Time Travel
Running Time: 96 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

The classic science fiction novel by H.G. Wells becomes this big-budget adventure directed by the author's great-grandson Simon Wells. Guy Pearce stars as Alexander Hartdegen, a scientist, professor, and inventor in 1895 New York City who believes that time travel is possible. The sudden and unexpected death of his fiancée spurs Alexander to build a time machine, which he hopes to use in an effort to change the past. When he is unable to change the past, Alexander hurls himself more than 800,000 years into the future, seeking answers about the nature of time, but instead encountering a dystopian world where humanity has divided up into two races, the peaceful Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks. Befriending the beautiful Eloi woman Mara (pop singer Samantha Mumba), Alexander must set out to save her from the underground world of the Morlocks when she is captured by them. Along the way, he is aided by Vox (Orlando Jones), a bio-mechanical being from the 21st century. Ultimately, Alexander makes a shocking discovery about the true nature of the Eloi and Morlocks and decides that the only way to change the future is to alter the present. Due to exhaustion, director Wells was briefly replaced during the last few weeks of production by Gore Verbinski, director of The Mexican (2001). The Time Machine co-stars Jeremy Irons and Mark Addy. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A new kind of movie... by chester June 30, 2003 - 11:38 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
When tragedy strikes and he loses Emma, Alex uses the time-travelling machine that he's built in secret to change the present by going into the past.

In a heretofore unheard of category of filming, the writers or director or whoever was responsible for the finished product created a movie with absolutely no introduction to the character and his interest in what becomes the plot of the film.

We see how Alexander is an unconventional teacher, then we see how much he loves Emma. Then (spoilers, but it's in the description above) she dies, and he hops on this machine and all of a sudden appears in the past.

We have Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone instead of ...Philosopher's Stone because in this part of the world, the knowledge of the viewing public can't be taken for granted. But apparently, by the time this movie comes along, it can - we know all about time machines, and we know this movie is about one (because of the title, I guess), and we know the original story and movie. So, before the action starts, we don't need to know the main character dabbles in time travel, has created a time machine or even has an interest in the subject. I guess, as the description says, he really was making it in secret. I guess this all could be true of a story that began in media res, but I doubt that was the intent of the filmmakers.

Anyway, to get beyond my review of the beginning of the movie, there is much more that is inexplicable (e.g., the end of the movie), but the movie pretty much follows the same shoddy movie-making as the intro.

The movie had it's good points - it's not incredibly bad, Samantha Mumba sure is pretty, and it has enough action to sustain you for an hour and a half without constantly looking at your watch. It might be worth a sit-through, especially if you're into time travel or science fiction or cool special effects. But if you're not a fan of the genre, you'll likely roll your eyes and wonder why they spent so much money.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.76)
76 Votes
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