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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 EricDSnider

"Quite the time machine: It takes 96 minutes, and makes them disappear."
2 stars

The space-time continuum is tweaked considerably in "The Time Machine," as two or three minutes of exciting action are stretched out over an hour and a half. How did those science wizards pull off such a feat?!

Actually, there's very little science in this science-fiction story, based on H.G. Wells' classic novel. Absent-minded professor Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce) becomes obsessed with time travel after the death of his fiancee in 1899, and subsequently invents a machine that allows him to go back and try to save her. She dies anyway, though, and so he heads for the future with a question on his mind: "Why can't I change the past?"

The time machine itself is a spherical chamber with a comfortable-looking chair (though it lacks a cupholder). It apparently travels through the corridors of time via machinery parts that spin and whirl; exactly zero seconds are spent on the details of it.

This seems an error. In films like "Kate & Leopold" or "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" that use time travel, it is permissible to skip the science because it is secondary to what those films are actually about (Meg Ryan being cute and Mike Myers being funny, respectively). But in a movie CALLED "The Time Machine" -- a movie ABOUT time travel -- perhaps you ought to take a moment to explain the theories behind the machine, and why it actually works.

One applauds the filmmakers' efforts to keep the running time short, but one's admiration is diminished upon viewing the rest of the film, which runs only 96 minutes but feels a lot longer. How can a movie about time travel have so much of nothing going on?

Alexander eventually winds up in the year 802701, when Earth civilization is more or less starting over and has been divided into two races. The Eloi are a happy, peace-loving aboriginal tribe with no word for "steal" in their language; the Morlocks are fearsome beasts who live underground.

Simon Wells -- great-grandson of H.G. Wells -- directed most of the film, with Gore Verbinski ("The Mexican," "Mouse Hunt") taking over for the last couple weeks of shooting. Without knowing who directed which scenes, it's difficult to tell whether the spotty outbursts of excitement are due to an uneven script or directors with different styles. There are outbursts, though: nifty time-lapse shots of New York City changing and evolving, the tragically beautiful sight of a crumbled moon orbiting the Earth, a Morlock attack on the Eloi -- all well-photographed (or computer animated), all thrilling in their way.

But it amounts to nothing, strangely. Guy Pearce should be representing all of us, wishing we could change the past, but instead he's just a cold, distant movie character: As much as you want to like him, there's just nothing to latch onto. The science of the film is skipped, and the human elements are downplayed. A few pieces of the film buzz and whir; very little of it actually clicks. The thing just never gets off the ground.

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originally posted: 03/09/02 07:59:34
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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 żĄ 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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