The Time Machine (2002)

"Weak"

The Time Machine (2002) Review


Guy Pearce remakes his second film of the year with The Time Machine... and it's barely March. Unfortunately, he had considerably better luck with The Count of Monte Cristo than with this limp retread.

Then again, the original Time Machine wasn't really anything special - a bunch of bad makeup effects and a weak plot. This time out the makeup's better but the story's a total loss.

The opening shows promise, with scientist Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce) in 1899 New York City, looking to get hitched with his lady. Alas, on the eve of their engagement, she is killed in a mugging, leaving Alexander alone with his quest to build a machine to go back in time and right the wrong. And equally alas, this doesn't really work out, sending a depressed Alexander into the future, where he witnesses the destruction of civilization when the moon crashes into the earth (in the original, it was a more traditional nuclear Armageddon), and eventually takes a breather 800,000 years hence.

The future looks idyllic, but really it turns out to suck worse than having a dead fiancée. The problem? What's left of humanity has evolved into two separate races - the Morlocks, fierce albino creatures that live underground, and the Eloy, a docile group on the surface that essentially are raised as a food source for the former. And for some reason, Alexander takes it upon himself to stop all the carnage.

Little of this makes for edge-of-your-seat viewing, though the effects are impressive, particularly when our hero is traveling through time - or time-lapse, at least. Much of the film got unintentional guffaws from my audience - which turn into creepy snickering when they realize it's not a comedy (Orlando Jones' appearance notwithstanding). And speaking of appearances, Jeremy Irons looks like he spent all of a day on the set for his work here as the leader of the Morlocks - and four hours of that was probably spent getting his makeup on. He looks as bored as I was, waiting for the credits to roll.

Will audiences be taken by this century-spanning tale of adventure? I know I wasn't. The good news is that this journey might span 800,000 years, but it will only suck 90 minutes out of your life.

Literally an armchair adventurer.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: Walter F. Parkes,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.