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196 out of 256 people found the following review useful:

How life must have changed for actor Alan Young during forty two years!

Author: uds3 from Longmont, Colorado
23 May 2002

THE TIME MACHINE which I first saw at its London premiere in 1960 has long remained a personal favorite of mine. I bought the film 17 years ago and my own children grew up with it during the many times we have watched it since. It had a distinct charm and news of its impending remake was of no interest to me...another un-reworkable film if ever there was going to be one! I had no interest in its existence and even less inclination to see it. Dragged, protesting to the theater recently by my daughter who had already seen it and who, under the insane belief that I would enjoy it, strapped me into the seat! Raving incoherently and fully intending to dislike each and every frame, I watched what I expected to be my greatest nightmare since SPEED 2.

Well girls and guys...I was so wrong! The remake not only captures and enhances the memory and feel of the original in many ways, it is vastly better! Pearce, who improves mightily as the film progresses (his early wimpy appearance telegraphed danger as far as I was concerned!) is just plain excellent as the slightly unhinged designer. The time machine itself (understandably, with today's fx potential) creams Rod Taylor's 1960 mini-umbrella! Mark Addy makes a great "Philby" very much in the style of Alan Young's original characterisation. Nice touch too, having him cameo here as the florist! For him of course, he has experienced his own "time machine" in the 42 intervening years!

"One hit wonder" Samantha Mumba is an acting natural and as the Eloi girl, hits exactly the right note called for in the role. Both she and her younger brother Omero contribute greatly to the film's success. Everything about this film is visually impressive. Wonderfully imaginative sets and masterful cinematography. Jeremy Irons' small but significant role comes off well too!

I read complaints about the Morlock make-up? Hello? any of you ever SEEN a Morlock? No??? well then, kindly refrain from negative comment. These guys looked and moved way better than the little furry 1960 creations! I liked also the intent NOT to have Pearce able to reverse the death of his fiancee - that was heightened awareness on someone's part!

Add to the above a superb musical score and if this doesn't all make for an entertaining and thought provoking film, hey guys, you're hard to please. Certainly this was never intended for THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS set! It is inarguably the best remake I have ever seen and one of only a few have that ever managed to improve on the original!

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139 out of 195 people found the following review useful:

90 minutes of pure fun

Author: MichaelM24 from California
14 March 2002

Judging from the initial reaction to THE TIME MACHINE, it seemed official to me that people have forgotten how to have a good time at the theaters these days. But the surprising box office performance in the week following its release seems to now suggest otherwise.

This is a really fun movie. It's a tad slow at first, but since it's only a short 96 minutes, things get going pretty quick. Guy Pearce is well-cast as the slightly-nerdy mathmetician, Alexander Hartdegen, and the special effects were very well-done (some were shown unfinished in the trailer and in the TV spots, so don't let that deter you.) Two of the best sequences are the two forward-traveling sequences, the first when Pearce begins his journey into the future, with the change from Victorian era to the future flashing by before us during a terrific pull back from the time machine all the way out of Earth's orbit and around to the far side of the moon, where a ship is coming in for a landing on a colony. The second is when Alexander is knocked unconscious by an explosion tremor in the distant future, when explosives mining on the moon have knocked it from its orbit and have caused it to come apart, showering the Earth with moonrocks, and the time machine speeds forward into the very distant future. It's a terrific sequence in which we see the geological evolution of the area in a matter of moments, from cliffside rock formations taking shape to environmental changes and everything in between. A truely awe-inspiring moment that is one of ILM's finest effects sequences.

I also liked how they kept a lot of elements from the original: good friend Mr. Philby, the spider making a web at the top of Alex's greenhouse, the constantly-changing store window mannequin that appears in the building across from Alex's house, the stop at one point in the future to discover that a disastrous incident is occuring (nuclear war in the original, the moonrock shower in this version), and the entrance to the Morlock's underground lair. Even the "talking rings" in the original are sort of brought back, though this time in the form of a holographic New York City public library computer (Orlando Jones), whom Alex first encounters in 2030 and again later in the film, set nearly 800,000 years later. The Eloi this time around are not all blonde and lifeless. In the original, they calmly walk into the Morlock's lair when the horns sound. Here, they run fearing

for the lives when the Morlocks come to hunt. And the Morlock's are no longer the lumbering bodybuilders with green body paint and white fright wigs. Here they are taller, more-muscular deadly creatures with an animal-like ferocity, with incredible physical abilities and capable of fast speeds.

I think this movie is a good example of what remakes should be. Keeping the concept and elements of the original, while bringing to the material something new. Pearce, as I said, is well-cast as the time traveler, who builds the machine first out of his desire to right a tragedy in his past, then ends up traveling into the future. Samantha Mumba does a fine job in her first feature film role. I'm not too fond of singers who try to make the move to acting (witness the debacles of Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and countless rappers), but Mumba was pretty good. I have a feeling we'll be seeing her more in the near future. Jeremy Irons' role was too brief, though. Being the Uber-Morlock, I was hoping for more screen time, as well as a lengthier confrontation. But he was still good. If I didn't know it was him, I never would have guessed it. Much to my surprise, his performance is a very restrained one, never exploding into one of those bursting, over-the-top speeches about wanting to overtake the planet. I was also expecting him to attempt to use the time machine to travel back to the past and take control in a time when there were more resources, but that idea (again, much to my surprise and delight) never even comes up. He seemed pretty content just doing things in the time he was in. Still, I would have liked for him to had more screen time.

I was also very impressed with the score by newcomer Klaus Badelt, who has worked mostly in association with composer Hans Zimmer, providing "Additional Music" from films liked HANNIBAL and GLADIATOR. His score here is full of action and emotion, with a heroic main theme and a really nice African tribe-like sound for the Eloi. I look forward to the release of the soundtrack, and I'll be keeping a watch for his future projects. He sounds very promising.

My only real complaint is that it all goes by too fast. A full two hours would have been great.

In comparison between this one and the original film, I suppose some people would say it lacks the charm of the first. The original, despite some dated effects, is still a good movie, with the always-reliable Rod Taylor. I grew up with it on video, so I consider it a childhood favorite. But I also enjoyed this version for the fun-filled action-packed piece of entertainment that it is.

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84 out of 109 people found the following review useful:

GOOD, ENTERTAINING FUN - but the 1960 Version is Still Tops

8/10
Author: Kirasjeri from Brooklyn NY
8 March 2002

This version of the H.G. Wells classic is quite different from the wonderful 1960 movie starring Rod Taylor. As such, it remains entertaining but is rather more superficial. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it. This one is set in Manhattan instead of London, and the Wintry scenes of New York a century ago were nicely done.

Instead of bemoaning the current dismal state of the world as in the 1960 version, our current hero, well-played by Guy Pearce, seeks to go back in time to prevent the untimely death of his beloved fiance. When he discovers this is impossible, he seeks resolution in the future. The special effects of course are good as he moves into that future, although the Geologic changes depicted could never have occurred in less than tens of millions of years.

In the future, 800,000 from his present, following a calamity involving the destruction of much of the moon that nearly destroyed Earth (that in lieu of the nuclear holocaust in the 1960 version) he discovers the Eloi, now cliff-dwellers, who are indeed still there, although now instead of looking like blonde blue-eyed Aryans they are a nice Politically Correct cafe au lait color. Curiously, there seems to have been no change or improvement in this species despite those 800,000 years - evolution has apparently ceased. But that was how it was with the 1960 film; in fact, this type of Eloi is more intelligent and active-minded than the nearly brain-dulled zombies Rod Taylor discovered. They must have been more intelligent as they somehow got the steel handcuffs off our hero that had been placed there in the earlier scene in the past.

This version is far kinder to the Eloi: our hero never feels rage at how they squandered the knowledge and history of civilization. Yes, books have crumbled, but there is a photonic human-like computer device, a remnant of the New York Public Library which contains every shred of information ever collected. How its power source remains up and running in a Stone Age world is never explained. "Self-contained power", perhaps?!

The evil Morlocks are still around, and have evolved, but instead of menacingly appearing at night, or sounding sirens resulting in the Eloi marching catatonic and transfixed to their cannibalistic doom, the Morlocks now attack in broad daylight - and they are very muscular and athletic. In fact, we discover that those are just one type of Morlock - others include those who have emphasized their intellectual development instead of brawn, and Jeremy Irons does a great job as the spooky albino-like head Morlock, the "uber-Morlock". The scary hidden menace of night, in the Taylor version, in the world of the Eloi is missing from this film, unfortunately.

Our hero's final battle was quite different from the other versions, and featured an altering of the future/present I still don't entirely understand. But it was compelling and dramatic.

I missed the thoughtful tone of the 1960 film in which Taylor (as "George") discussed Time as a Fourth Dimension, and had a close relationship over the years with his friend Filby, and later his son. The scenes where he stopped his Time Machine inside his old boarded up house seventeen years into the future are, regretably, gone - too slow for today's audience, as perceived by the producers. It all created for me a nostalgic even elegiacal emotion I missed in this movie. The end scene where Taylor returned to bring back "three books" for his life with the Eloi is not in the 2002 film.

The well-known symbolism in the Wells' book, and somewhat in the 1960 version, of an Upper Class feeding off the labor of the Working Class, cannot be seen at all in this current movie. That despite it being ably directed, at least in part, by his great-grandson, Simon Wells.

The performances are generally quite good. Besides the wonderful Mr Irons, Guy Pearce is excellent as Alexander Hartdgen. Samantha Mumba is credible as the the replacement for Yvette Mimieux's Weena - now called Mara. Her actual younger brother plays her film sibling. Although she is an Irish singer, she is also half African, thus satisfying the PC need for the correct complexion. Mark Addy is limited by the script as Filby; in the 1960 version Alan Young was wonderful in that role.

Scenery, sets, art direction, and special effects are all quite good.

This film was entertaining and enjoyable. I just wish it had also been also as thought-provoking for me as the 1960 Rod Taylor version had been. I know comparisons can be invidious, but they can't be helped when remaking a classic. Nonetheless, worth seeing.

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97 out of 138 people found the following review useful:

We 4 hard critics actually liked this film! Great music, and more...

Author: nz man from New Zealand
11 May 2002

The four of us are in the 40 - 50 age range, and we are fairly tough what we like and do not like in films. It was Friday night and we wanted entertainment. We read the comments below - mostly, but not all negative - and decided to take a gamble. Arriving at the cinema, we were prepared for a bad movie but hoping for 'a good relaxing time'. Well, we *did* like this film! Not a top box office smash or even an 8 out of 10, but entertaining nevertheless. The MUSIC was superb. ACTING was fine. HISTORIC life portrayed in old Cambridge Massachusetts was realistic - even the snow and cold weather was real. The ROMANCE was acceptable. The STORY, while not closely following H G Well, was good enough. The SPECIAL EFFECTS were very good indeed. It is worth a gamble, to see this film. But go with a light heart and an acceptable frame of mind, and keep your expectations below that of a 10 out of 10 film.

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75 out of 107 people found the following review useful:

Awful. (Spoilers)

Author: Jim Griffin (hubbahubbageek@hotmail.com) from Portishead, England
26 July 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Problems with my health have meant that for almost five years I wasn't able to read books properly. I used to love reading, but eventually I had to accept that it was something I'd have to leave behind, and I found instead a passion for film. Earlier this year my health improved enough to get back into reading, and The Time Machine by HG Wells was the first book I managed to get through. For that reason it's a special book for me, one that I'd recommend to everyone and defend against anyone who has a bad word to say about it. Beyond what it means to me, it's a masterpiece of science fiction from one of the genre's founding fathers. For those reasons, sitting through this adaptation was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. I can't begin to express the utter contempt I have for this piece of garbage.

Set in nineteenth-century New York, in the days before accents had been standardised, this inane and inept adaptation takes Wells's genius and flushes it well and truly down the Hollywood bog. It sees Dr Alexander Hartdegen tormented by a pointless back-story, and driven to find a way of undoing the recent tragedy that only he cares about. He invents a time machine, powered by a dynamo attached to Wells's spinning corpse, but finds he is unable to change the terrible past. Helpfully mumbling exposition to himself, he comes to realise that the only way to understand why the past can't be changed is to travel 800,000 years into the future. It was at that point that Mr Logic ran out of the cinema, knowing he wouldn't be needed for the rest of the film. I wish I'd followed him.

Arriving in our distant future, Hartdegen finds that the human race has evolved into two distinct species; the peaceful, beautiful Eloi and the evil, subterranean Morlocks, whose skin had long-ago turned into rather obvious latex. Lazily – I mean, luckily – the English language has survived 800,000 years mostly intact, and after a quick chat with one of the Eloi, Hartdegen turns action-hero as he tries to free her people from the clutches of the Morlocks.

This is a thoroughly useless adaptation, one that leads me to believe that the screenwriter has never bothered to read the book, but had instead just glanced at the plot summary on its back cover, had a quick lobotomy, and set to work on his screenplay. Everything that made the novel so powerful has been lost. The anonymity of the time-traveller has been replaced by a dithering scientist with a name and a back-story; his parental affection for little Weena has been replaced with him wanting to do Mara; the Eloi's laziness and lack of intelligence has been replaced with a paradoxical inventive and resourceful nature, which throws up unanswered questions as to why they've failed to rebuild their society; the Morlocks, freed from the moral ambiguity that the novel had put forward, are reduced to nothing but supernatural, superhuman, hissable baddies. It was just horrifying to see a work of such genius simplified, dumbed-down and turned implausible, and lapped up by an audience of idiots, including my own brother! Adaptations don't have to be loyal, and I understand that there are certain things that work in a novel that wouldn't work on screen, but if things have to be added or removed, the changes should at least be equal to the ideas they replaced. That just isn't the case here.

And it's so Hollywood that the pursuit of science isn't enough; Hartdegen can't invent a time machine simply out of the scientific curiosity, it has to be motivated instead by a lost love. And look at the difference between the book and the film, in terms of imagination and invention: The book created a machine that could travel through time; the movie has a holographic museum curator to dispense exposition. The book was a powerful critique on the British class system; the movie has a running joke about bowler hats.

Even if you can see this as a film in itself rather than as an adaptation of another story, it still fails. It's ridden with plot-holes, crippled by the absence of logic, and has a pay-off that's so lazy it's a miracle it even bothered to turn up on time. And while we see travel in the fourth dimension, we only see characterisation in the first. The leads are allocated one adjective each, and accents that could be kindly described as `well-travelled'. The only real successes are the sweeping score by Klaus Badelt, and the often stunning effects by the always-reliable ILM and Digital Domain. Both were wasted in a movie that was heart-breakingly bad.

I've never been so upset by a film. I've never spent so long with my head in my hands. I'm sorry they did this to you, Mr Wells.

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77 out of 116 people found the following review useful:

Interesting but flawed

8/10
Author: dimadick from Alexandroupolis, Greece
19 October 2002

Since Herbert George Wells(1866-1946)' "The Time Machine" happens to be one of my favorite novels I was interested in this film mainly to see how the old man's great-grandson would handle his legacy.This film left me with mixed feelings.Many good points and many bad ones.

The Good:I truly enjoyed the 19th centurie scenes with Alexander and Emma.Her tragic death and Alexander's wish to change it provides our Time Traveler with serious motivation that he seemed to luck in the book.His obsession with his work is another good point.When you turn all your efforts towards one point then it is more probable that you will achieve your goals.The scenes while the machine is operating are visualy beautiful.Alexander as a "wandering fool" and his amazement at the 21st centurie achievements are well done.The Uber-Morlock was quite impressive, his seing the memories, dreams and nightmares of others seem to have left him with a lot of wisdom.His lack of emotions in a matter of survival for himself and his race is understandable.Why should he be shocked?Humanity has fed on flesh for milenia.We knowed and we don't get shocked by it.Why should he be?He actualy seems evolved rather than devolved as the other Morlocks.

The Bad:In the original novel humanity supposedly reached a golden age.The upper-class used the lower-class to achiebe its dream.A life with no worries.The upper-class lived in magnificent towers while the lower class was forced to live below the earth, in tunnels.As time went on the upper-class evolved to the Eloi living in a paradise.Childlike in appearance and in nature.Their luck of problems left them with no need to studie and eventualy all the wisdom of their founders was lost.They were left using achievements they couldn't understand and couldn't maintaine.The lower-class evolved into the Morlocks.Forgotten by the Eloi they were left to feed on each other and eventualy reached the surface and started feeding on the Eloi.Both races were devolved when the Time Traveler arrived.The only person from this time he actualy likes was Weena a young Eloi girl he saved who grew attached to him.In the novel they wander around studying the state of decline the human races had reached.

Unfortunately all this history of the two races is lost in this movie.The plot about the Moon falling was rather ridiculous and hardly explained the evolution of the two races.The Eloi of the film are much more inteligent than those in the movie but nothing interesting is truly done with them.I was hoping to see Alexander trying to teach his new roomates some of his wisdom.But nothing like this happens.Why would Alexander be interested in those two races isn't explained.Why would he pass two chances to return to his time isn't expained at all.What gives him the right to kill the Morlocks is left equaly unexplained.The "Happy" ending leaves him living in a time that shouldn't held any interest for a science-loving man.Nothing to explore or study.After his experience with time travel I don't think he would just be content left in one or the other point of the time stream.Rather unfortunate progress.

It could have been a classic if only the finale didn't resemble stupid adventure movies rather than the original novel or any other piece of fiction with an actual interest in the concept of time traveling.Alas the Wells family seems to be devolving too.

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56 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

Wasting Time

1/10
Author: villard from United States
30 March 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The 2002 version of "The Time Machine" is just the latest in a string of terribly disappointing Hollywood remakes that fall flat on their face despite extravagant special effects.

What a lousy, uninspired bland story, with no imagination. Why so totally rewrite such a wonderful sci-fi classic? Are today's movie audiences too hip for the H.G. Wells writing largely as is? The 1960 George Pal version told a much more endearing story, even with clunky low-budget effects, beach-party looking Eloi, and Morlocks that looked like Smurfs on steroids.

The 2002 version must have H.G Wells turning in his grave:

1. The idea that the time traveler is motivated by the desire to change the past and trapped in a time paradox is an old sci-fi cliché. This totally distracts from the love affair with Mara (what happened to Weena?!) that made the 1960 version so endearing. This sets an unfortunate and distractive tone early on that makes the whole movie dour. If Guy Pearce's character was so brilliant either he or his buddy Einstein would have realized the time paradox dilemma – not have it dawn on him 800,000 yrs in the future – from a Morlock no less, Doh!! What's wrong with time-traveling just for fun & adventure & curiosity -- as embodied in the 1960 version?

2. Only if you saw the first movie would you realize at all what Pearce was doing with the time machine when you first see it. The George Pal film carefully explains the whole weird idea of 'travel' though a 4th dimension.

3. The director goes out of his way to make Pearce's character look geeky, a worn out old stereotype of scientists. In the 1960 version Rod Taylor was a little nerdy too (at least around Weena) but managed to be swashbuckling, playful and charming.

4. Among the key themes of the 60's version -- abandoned in the remake -- is the idea that endless war leads to the bifurcation of humanity. Blowing up the Moon to destroy humanity is pointless -- and doesn't do much for science literacy. For over 4 billion years the Moon has suffered vastly more powerful asteroid impacts, which would make any nuclear device look like a firecracker. Yes, science fiction needs artistic license, but this is just plain dumb and meaningless.

5. Destroying the time machine is stupid too. Apparently our time traveler invented the neutron bomb to power this thing. Blowing up the machine to kill Morlocks is sort of a cop-out 'machina ex machina' Disappointingly, Pearce never comes back to the 1800s to tell his tale to his incredulous friends, a key part of the Wells story with the irony that in a week the time travels goes into the far future and back.

6. Having Morlocks running around in the daytime totally ruins H.G. Wells' wonderfully spooky, ghoulish portrayal of them as shadowy creatures of the night. A true cinematic opportunity lost. Also, Wells depicted the Eloi as frail and childlike. These guys in the movie looked like they could take on Morlocks, if they weren't such big baby wusses.

7. The one smart Morlock – kind of a bleached-out Star Wars Evil Emperor -- had potential, but is so lame and aloof he tells Pearce to take his machine and go home ?! Boy, what a dramatic high point! In the book the Morlocks steal the machine because they are so fascinated by it, and fight to keep it.

8. The goof ball hologram at the N.Y. Public Library is too much. It makes light of the idea of human cannibalism. the 1960 version simply had the "talking rings" that delivered a chillingly somber eulogy for humankind. Derailed evolution is serious stuff.

Its sad the wonderful effects in this movie can never make up for a weary contrived clunker of a script. Save the cost of a ticket & popcorn and go rent the DVD when it comes out (soon no doubt), at least you can fast-forward thought the dull parts, just like our time traveler.

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36 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

passable update

Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States
9 March 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Any movie version of `The Time Machine' is destined to suffer from the structural inadequacies contained in the original source material (H. G. Wells' 19th Century novel of the same name). The previous 1960 George Pal version could not overcome them and neither can this current update, written by John Logan and directed by Gore Verbinski and Simon Wells.

Credit the filmmakers for resisting the modern temptation to transpose Wells' original tale to a contemporary setting. The story still begins in the 1800's, with scientist Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce replacing Rod Taylor in the role) creating a machine with the capability of transporting him back and forth in time. Unlike in the original film version, however, Hartdegen is not motivated by sheer scientific inquisitiveness alone. The writer has provided him with an added personal inspiration for his endeavors in the form of a beautiful young fiancé who is tragically murdered at the moment of their engagement. Hartdegen's overwhelming desire to find a way to return to the past as a way of rewriting the future provides the necessary motivation to get the story rolling.

The structural problem alluded to in the opening paragraph boils down to the simple fact that `The Time Machine' is, by its very nature, a tale in which the first and second acts will always far outshine the third (although, regrettably, the third act always ends up taking the bulk of any adaptation's running time). The story is at its most intriguing and compelling in the setting up stage and in the scenes depicting the actual time traveling experience (this was the case in the first version and it is the case here as well). We watch in awe as Hartdegen races across the millennia, seeing life from a strangely sped-up perspective (the special effects here are very impressive). We also enjoy the little side forays he takes into the early 21st Century, where he visits a modernized New York City of 2030 and, a few years down the road, a world threatened by a disintegrating moon.

Less compelling is Hartdegen's eventual destination, the world 800,000 years in the future. Those familiar with the earlier version will know all about the earth he ends up encountering, one in which the peace-loving, land dwelling Elois have become fodder for the cannibalistic, subterranean Morlocks, a grim product of evolutionary (or should we say, devolutionary) development. Just parenthetically, one is struck here by just how heavily Pierre Boulle `borrowed' from Wells when constructing his plot for `Planet of the Apes.' Given the obvious limitations of this rather hopeless final act, the makers of this version haven't done a bad job bringing it to the screen, since there really isn't much one can do with it but to turn the whole thing into an extended chase scene anyway. The odd passivity of the Elois in acquiescing to their decreed nutritional fate was, however, captured to greater effectiveness in the 1960 version. One felt caught off balance by the sight of all those people resigning themselves to the inevitable while affording no sympathy for the `loved ones' who were the Morlock's victims. As partial compensation for missing this intriguing aspect, the new film does make the Morlocks appear rather more threatening than they did in the Pal version. However, Jeremy Irons, as the representative of the `intelligentsia' branch of the Morlock race comes in way too late in the story to register effectively, and the climax of the film is both confusing and inexplicable to put it politely. (There is, however, a nice coda at the very end, merging both time periods into a shared spatial dimension). The least believable aspect of this current edition is the fact that the few Elois who still speak English 800,000 years in the future – an absurd notion in its own right – could give Professor Henry Higgins a run for his money in the elocution department. We should all possess their pitch-perfect pronunciation, command of diction and level of vocabulary.

Guy Pearce isn't given much opportunity to act in this role and I must say that, in his beardless state at least, his gaunt countenance is almost frightening to gaze upon at times. I don't know what might have happened to him in the year or so since he appeared in `Memento,' but someone needs to buy that poor boy a substantial meal from time to time. In some of the early scenes in the film, in particular, he looks positively freakish. I kept looking for signs of deliberate tampering by the makeup artists and wondered how some future alteration in his appearance might play a significant role in the narrative's development. It never happened, which leads me to wonder if Pearce might not himself be morphing into a Morlock.

Special mention must me made of the superb art direction that adorns the film. The sets depicting 19th Century New York City are particularly impressive.

Overall, `The Time Machine' does a better job revisiting its source material than Tim Burton's `Planet of the Apes' did last year. That may, indeed, be faint praise – but praise nonetheless.

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44 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Good Remake

7/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
22 October 2003

I was interested in seeing this remake simply to find out if it was as bad as a myriad of critics have suggested it to be . I did love the 1960 version and I am not keen on people remaking my favourite movies , but surely last year`s remake of HG Wells romantic fantasy wasn`t going to be as bad as painted was it ?

Herbert George Wells wrote the source novel so why not call the hero Herbert or George ? It`s also a Victorian sounding name so why`s the hero got a name that resembles Steve Martin`s character in THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS ? This screenplay just like David Duncan`s from the 1960 version lacks an opening hook but it does speculate that even if time travel did exist it would be impossible to change ones destiny , an interesting thought . Screenwriter

John Logan adds a post modernist sequence featuring both HG Wells and STAR TREK . I didn`t think the humour worked very well but I had to admire his cheek , and since everyone cycles everywhere Logan suggests that in the mid 21st century America has elected a president from the green party which no doubt caused civilisation to collapse . Like most other movies set in the far flung future there are illogical gaps in the screenplay . For example remnants of the present day would still exist . Put it like this : The pyramids of Egypt are a few thousand years old and at the present rate of degeneration they won`t exist in a few thousand years but Alexander goes 798,000 years into the future and the skeletal remains of 21st century New York still remain ! , but as I said this is a common flaw in time travel stories as is the ridiculous notion that hundreds of thousands of years into the future people will still be able to understand and speak English , so this can be forgiven on the grounds of dramatic license . My only real criticism of the screenplay is that John Logan borrows a bit too much from Duncan`s earlier screenplay , otherwise this is a fairly good adaptation on Wells groundbreaking novel . Adding the ubermorlock is an inspired idea that works very well

I`m in two minds who to credit / criticise as director . As you may know Simon Wells left the project days before the project was completed and was replaced by Gore Verbinski so for the purposes of this review I`ll refer to the director simply as " The director " , and the director does manage one show stopping moment as the camera pans out from Alexander at the end of the 19th century across an ever evolving landscape eventually stopping on a lunar colony . The most controversial aspect of the film seems to be the casting or more especially the casting of dark skinned actors as the eloi , but I fail to see what the problem is . The eloi live on the surface in bright sunlight so why shouldn`t they be dark skinned ? It`s also in keeping with the social darwinism of Wells novel . The eloi have evolved due to environment the same way as the ubermorlock has evolved , and social darwinism is totally amoral so there`s no right or wrong , or good and bad involved . I do wish people would stop playing the race card . As for the ordinary morlocks they`re superbly designed with some great make up involved but the director throws a massive spanner in the works by having them running a hundred miles an hour and being able to jump great heights which suddenly makes them unconvincing which is a great pity , they would have worked better as men dressed up rather than CGI supermen . I did like Jeremy Irons as the scene stealing ubermorlock though . A word of warning for those of you who suffer from photo sensitivity , sadly once again this is a movie that heavily features strobe lighting . I`m not epileptic which is just as well because I wouldn`t want to risk a seizure watching THE TIME MACHINE . Sadly there seems to be more and more films being produced with this technique in style used and sadly I`ve had to keep saying - Stop using strobe lighting in movies . It`s totally irresponsible for directors to do this .

To sum up the 2002 remake of THE TIME MACHINE was light years away from the debacle I`d been led to expect . It`s fairly good in its own right but not as good as George Pal`s 1960 version , maybe because it lacks the charm of the former , a charm that movie had in abundance , but this version is still pretty good as remakes go

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37 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable Romp Through Time

7/10
Author: tabuno from utah
10 March 2002

I enjoyed The Time Machine and its focus on simplicity and special effect instead of heavy time travel contradictions and fancy plots. This movie was straight backwards and forwards dealing with materialism and love - straight and simple. This was a feel good movie in a time (our time) of confusion, fear, and war. Too many critics looked for something really deep, tried to tear it apart because of its apparent lack of scientific continuity. But really the essence of this movie was human relationships and I thought the movie it made its point even though it took 800,000 years to do it. I felt with the characters. The only real problem I had was how a language could be kept so pure after so many years - of course they may have had help from a local library.

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