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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.73%
Worth A Look: 15.93%
Average: 9.73%
Pretty Bad33.63%
Total Crap: 30.97%

6 reviews, 77 user ratings

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Time Machine, The (2002)
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Take me to the past to prevent the time I wasted watching it."
1 stars

Awfully inept remake of the 1960 George Pal adventure, adapted from the H.G. Wells fantasy. This time around, the future, our reality, has the classic re-tooled by none other than Wells’ own great-grandson, Simon Wells.

If there’s one thing this Wells does, is certify that he should be disinherited. Guy Pearce, usually reliable as an actor, but not here, takes over for Rod Taylor as the creator of the time-altering travel machine. As an impetus for such, however, a new motivation is created: Pearce’s fiancée is shot and killed during a routine mugging in Central Park. (The doctor is presented much more as a schizophrenic than a tinkerer, and is played far too skeptically and aridly by Pearce, who looks deformed with projectile cheekbones, and a mouth that appears as though sponges have sucked it dry.) Doggedly determined to save his fiancée, he is finally able to return to the past via his machine and save her from the incident only for her to be trampled by a carriage at another time and place, proving: it wasn’t meant to be. (Never an issue in the original, this turns into a laughing matter.) Further frustration causes the doctor to haphazardly explore into the future, where he (unrealistically) travels some hundreds-of-millions of years ahead, to when two species occupy Earth: Eloi, a breed of humans that look to be half-caste, with but a new universal language (save for a few, like Samantha Mumba, who have learned English), and Morlocks, blue creatures with super-speed and super-strength. In essence, the story has been bowdlerized, eradicating important pieces of the plot such as the class struggle between the Eloi and the Morlocks. (Previously, the Eloi, desensitized to death led a life of hedonism provided by the Morlocks, who in turn raised them as cattle until rounding up daily groups for the abattoir.) This vapid remake is nothing but a chance to explore not the future, but rather the extent of visual effects; erasing plot structure to make room and reason for the budgetary bells and whistles. (Most of which are, by the way, shallow computer doodling.) Ultimately, the desecration to the original work (in script form) renders the revisualization helpless — it lacks the ideas, the philosophy, the inquisition, the struggle, the frustration, the adventure, the imagination. Simon Wells is too egotistical to see this; his grand scheme of removal and replacement has hokey additions such as a digital librarian, and an “Über-Morlock” (Jeremy Irons). (Does one ever stop to wonder where, since no one knows English let alone German, where this title would have come from?) All the magical elements brought to the original by H.G. Wells himself and George Pal’s direction, cast and crew, have subsequently been stripped in exchange for superfluous computer animation, and greater, more elaborate monsters. Guess what? The blue-painted Morlocks of the original were much scarier. It’s merely another classic butchered for the sake of the unimaginative. Ostensibly, something as under-rated as imagination, at least in the case of the Wellses, is not hereditary.

With Mark Addy and Orlando Jones.

[Not to be bothered with.]

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/22/03 16:47:16
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User Comments

4/25/18 Louise A waste of 'time' - ha ha - watch the 1960 one instead. 2 stars
9/14/17 morris campbell IT SUCKS 1 stars
8/19/15 Carol Watch the George Pal 1960 classic. Just pretend this pointless remake never happened. 1 stars
6/08/13 mike great movie 5 stars
1/16/11 L Lopez Awsome remake of an old favorite. Dislikers should have their DNA resequenced. 5 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was Awesome!! Loved It. 5 stars
3/17/08 Kirsten Not bad, but I felt the plot was a bit rushed. Iron's character was defeated too quickly 3 stars
5/14/07 action movie fan lame remake-1960 moive is still the best 2 stars
1/28/07 David Pollastrini saw it but have no memory so it must have sucked 3 stars
9/12/06 BOB I understand why some people would not have liked this movie, because you have to think 5 stars
8/05/06 nicklor24 great film, to bad it's underrated, check it out 5 stars
7/13/06 Dan Honestly, what were you idiots expecting? This was a fun, entertaining movie. Dumbfucks. 4 stars
5/08/06 Thomas Semesky How can you make a movie about time travel into a boring waste of time? 2 stars
9/04/05 Eagle We need a time machine to go back and prevent this movie from being made 1 stars
8/19/05 ES A good re-telling, worth a glance 4 stars
8/07/04 Anthony G I would fuck samantha mumba 2 stars
6/01/04 ReptilesNi Completely lacking the charm of the original movie. 2 stars
5/22/04 Bruck Remembrance of a great film 3 stars
12/23/03 Chris It was an OK movie at first but the end was horrible. 2 stars
10/28/03 Lars Kelsen A great ride! 4 stars
10/19/03 Ingo Fine start, but then... 3 stars
6/09/03 Goofy Maxwell Don't see it, or if u must, pull a Rip Van Winkle like Guy Pierce & just sleep through it. 1 stars
6/01/03 Pete a hour and a half just to see Samantha Mumba's tummy. Sucks Ass like a intern 1 stars
4/23/03 LIAM JACKSON brilliant.the uber-morlock should have killed alex.still great though 5 stars
4/10/03 Jack Bourbon Hey! I forgot I saw this piece of dog shit. Too bad that had to change. 1 stars
1/20/03 Jim Not bad but suffers from severe credibility problems once Alex arrives in 802701. 4 stars
10/22/02 teri did the screenwriter just quit right at the end so quickly wrapped up the whole thing? 1 stars
10/06/02 syrius effects are pretty good, but H.G. Wells is rolling over in his grave 2 stars
9/02/02 AshFan Guy Pearce and the effects are great, but its' stupid script and ending ruin some of it. 3 stars
8/13/02 Monster W. Kung An utterly disappointing film. Damn you, Pearce. 2 stars
7/30/02 soelsen i thought it was good....kinda hard to follow though 4 stars
6/02/02 Chris Not a complete waste of time. What was with the ending it was pretty good till then. 3 stars
5/17/02 viking a sci-fi classic becomes a run of the mill CGI extravaganza 3 stars
4/29/02 Little L Absolutely loved it! Whoever says it doesn't live up to sixties one's standards is stupid 5 stars
4/27/02 Jill and Bart worst movie we've ever seen in our lives. BORING!!!! 1 stars
4/24/02 Danielle Ophelia Someone ate H.G. Wells' masterful novel...then chucked it back up. A maudlin surface-skim. 2 stars
4/23/02 Rautron Zero The 1960 Original is by far a better film, but this film s Interesting 3 stars
4/18/02 Emily shitty 1 stars
4/12/02 Aaron Nelson Pretty good remake of the 1960 Pal film, although the last 20 minutes lost it a bit 4 stars
4/10/02 emp not that bad, probably should wait for the video 4 stars
4/10/02 Kelly Mears The Special effects are cool. Plot is nothing special. 3 stars
4/10/02 The Grinch Good, mindless fun, with good special effects. 4 stars
4/08/02 Roy Smith Saw the "ending" far in advance, rather stupid, all FX only 2 stars
4/08/02 Connoisseur you people are too hard on movies these days. this movie is fun 4 stars
4/07/02 angie I enjoyed this film. Fine family entertainment. But then that's why I watch movies. 4 stars
4/05/02 Edfink Lombardo Good visual effects, fun storytelling, with its only downfall being its slow pace... 4 stars
4/04/02 Monster W. Kung ...and after going through it backwards, Guy Pearce wastes our time. 2 stars
4/02/02 Flick Chick cheezy and boring 2 stars
3/27/02 Chris ¿¡ Samantha Mumba and Guy Pierce have no character in this movie, at all. 2 stars
3/23/02 Larry You should to see it's not bad 4 stars
3/23/02 mahone the director should get the death penalty 1 stars
3/19/02 malcolm a lot of fun, jeremy irons looked like a wicked Powder 4 stars
3/18/02 your mom the visual effect were pretty good. 4 stars
3/17/02 Rampage Crud, crud and more crud. If you haven't seen it, thank God. 2 stars
3/17/02 R. Johnson Total, uninflected, piece of crap! 1 stars
3/16/02 H. G. Wells I can't believe they have talkies like this, who would've thought twas possible? 5 stars
3/16/02 Artist Freak Light on plot, but stuff blowed up real good. Don't expect great art and you'll be happy. 3 stars
3/14/02 bianca it was great. lot better than most people think 5 stars
3/14/02 NiceGlamourShotErik SUCKED BIG ONES 1 stars
3/14/02 Hotaine Ran right out and bought the book after this to cleanse my soul. I felt so dirty. 1 stars
3/12/02 ajay not as bad as HBS says it is. maybe that's why I liked it, I was expecting shit 4 stars
3/12/02 spaceworm Time trip cool; O. Jones,fun; Irons, NO! Scipt, where? 2 stars
3/12/02 raiven message to screenwriter: rent the 1960 version to see why yours sucks 2 stars
3/12/02 brent young superficial at best. maybe a rental... maybe. 2 stars
3/11/02 sandy I enjoyed this film. Fine family entertainment. But then that's why I watch movies. 5 stars
3/11/02 Rockitman007 I enjoyed this movie enough. 4 stars
3/11/02 Ziggy Stardust What claptrap! What drivell... i was hoping soo much for it to be good... but noooooooooooo 2 stars
3/11/02 Just another guy Nice effects, no story. Go rent the original. 1 stars
3/11/02 Jimbobwe Erik was dead on (except that this version is set in New York, not England). Way bummer... 2 stars
3/11/02 Benjamin Leatherman Ana llright movie. Everything seemed to make sense to me. 4 stars
3/10/02 ChicoJake maybe rent it if you are bored 2 stars
3/10/02 jojo great movie not to hollywood ,classic science fiction,and guy pearce as always is awesome 5 stars
3/09/02 Joe Deblow The Gayness Machine 1 stars
3/09/02 Kisuta A light, entertaining movie. Could have had a lot more detail. 4 stars
3/09/02 Butterbean Jeremy Iron's exposed spine was the coolest thing about this movie 3 stars
3/09/02 STEVE would not see it for a hundred bucks! 1 stars
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  08-Mar-2002 (PG-13)



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