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Based on the classic sci-fi novel by H.G. Wells, scientist and inventor, Alexander Hartdegen, is determined to prove that time travel is possible. His determination is turned to desperation by a personal tragedy that now drives him to want to change the past. Testing his theories with a time machine of his own invention, Hartdegen is hurtled 800,000 years into the future, where he discovers that mankind has divided into the hunter - and the hunted. Written by
One of the pocket watches in Alex's collection was actually a Swiss made design that was not introduced until around 1920, and thus would not have been produced in 1899. See more »
Can you even imagine what it's like to remember everything? I remember this six-year-old girl who asked me about dinosaurs 800,000 years ago. I remember the last book I recommended: Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe. And yes, I even remember you. "Time travel, practical application."
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Really, this would have been a decent sci-fi/adventure movie, if it hadn't been based on a classic novel and directed by the author's grandson. I kept hearing about how this would be the definitive version of the novel. What resulted was a pathetic and simpleminded bastardization.
The novel is a great sci-fi story but what a lot of people miss when they read it (probably because they read it when they're very young) is that it's overflowing with social commentary. The Eloi and Morlocks are a satire of the class distinctions of Victorian England, and the overall message of the film is that EVERYTHING DECAYS AND DEGENERATES, a satiric jab at Victorian complacency and their belief that their civilization would last forever. There's no love story, no romance with a beautiful Eloi woman....in the novel, the Eloi are 3-foot-tall childlike beings with a mental capacity not far above that of an animal. The Time Traveler does befriend an Eloi woman but it's clear he thinks of her more like a pet, and anyway she's killed before the novel ends.
This movie first tries to give us a totally stupid backstory as to "why he wants to travel through time." The treacly romance and the Lessons He Must Learn are enough to make film fans vomit.
The journey into the future is punctuated by a future disaster. OK, not bad, but it would have had more punch if we had been allowed to see that mankind just generally degenerates, as in the book. More a reflection of the times, I guess, as the George Pal version had a nuclear war take place.
The general story? Ugh. A total misrepresentation of the novel. The Eloi are too competent and warlike. The Morlocks are too intelligent. The UberMorlock is an embarrassment, and there's no setup. He just shows up in time to be killed. Yawn.
Samantha Mumba does OK. Guy Pearce is one of my favorites but he often seems confused and in pain. (Reportedly he broke a rib while filming this.) He also looks unhealthy and overly thin, as if he had been ill for a long time before making this.
A sad, sorry film version of one of the world's classics. H. G. Wells deserves better....MUCH better.
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