The Time Machine (2002)


For a movie with such a big budget and such incredible special-effects, it’s hard to believe this is so terrible. I think Guy Pearce is a great actor and should be in roles better suited for him rather than starring in low-level cheesy roles such at this. He tries his best to work with the material he’s given in this movie and seems to work hard but it doesn’t pay off simply because of the story. Director Simon Wells, great grandson of H.G. Wells and director of animated films such as “Balto” and “The Prince of Egypt” completely misses the point of the novel and turns it into a cheesy science fiction flick. The movie is loud and gaudy, often giving to the audience more style than substance and presenting a paper thin adaptation.

It doesn’t help that the narrative has giant plot holes; In fact, writers John Logan and Simon Wells give so much plot holes that it left me angry and confused. How did he know how to build the time machine? Why didn’t such a smart man figure out the result of his attempt to save his wife? How did he know to travel in the future and seek the guidance of a computer? These are some of the most annoying and large plot holes that plague this movie and it told me that the filmmakers obviously cared about showing a bunch of pretty effects and never intended on giving us a logical and plausible story in the first place. Also, the writers completely miss the point of the Eloi and Morlock society and what they symbolize as a commentary on society.

The Morlocks are annoying and badly done. You can often tell they’re just men in rubber suits, which is sad, because make-up artist Stan Winston is a master of his craft and is at his worst in here. The scenes where Alexander is co-existing with the Eloi are boring and dull leaving the audience to wait for the inevitable attacks. Ex- pop star Samantha Mumba took the role of Mara, the only person who can communicate with Alexander and the two inevitably fall in love, which brings another question: Weren’t you hung up about your dead wife and now you’re giving lovey dubby eyes to another younger woman? The movie goes into this ridiculous plot of having Jeremy Irons provide the role as the villain. He plays an un-evolved Morlock who rules over the others. Why? They never tell us.

Why he looks the way he does, they never tell us either but he confronts Alexander and the two fight for unknown reasons. Poor Jeremy Irons looks tired and bored in this, playing his role in his sleep and giving melodramatic lines and monologues. Then, in perhaps the dumbest ending of all time, Alexander makes one last sacrifice and destroys his machine killing the Morlocks which left me yelling at the screen. Why did he destroy the machine? What did that solve? Wasn’t he looking for a way to save his wife? I thought he loved her? Why leave modern times and go back to a primitive time where there’s no medicine or any source of transportation? This is just a really dumb loud movie that wasn’t worth my wracking my brain over. This is a loud annoying movie with poor directing and plot holes galore. You want an easy cheap thrill, watch this movie, you want quality, turn elsewhere.