If you enjoy classic old films, chances are you've seen George Pal's 1960 rendition
of the famous H.G. Wells novel The Time Machine. In that movie, Rod Taylor starred as George,
an englishman who develops a time machine and travels to the distant future to discover the races of the Eloi
and Morlocks and the primitive society that had resulted from a nuclear war catastrophy centuries prior.
The film was carried by its acting, and featured amazing special effects for its time. It's a story
that with today's technology could be told with much more impact if done right. In 2001, a remake was scheduled
to debut in theaters around Christmas. The film was delayed on September 10th so it wouldn't have to compete
with the other films releasing around the Holiday, and with the September 11th attacks, parts of the film had to be changed and refilmed,
delaying the project for a March 2002 release.
I may have been the only pathetic guy in his early 20's waiting for this remake since word of its planning.
I was surprised at the casting of Guy Pearce as the lead, however, after seeing him as the villain in this year's
The Counte of Monte Cristo, I understand why. Pearce is an incredible actor, extremely versatile to be able
to handle such vastly different roles so nicely. Now that the sufficient technology exists to make the time travelling scenes
as wondrous as they should be, there doesn't seem to be a real easy way to mess up a remake, right? Well, you'd think
In a day and age where remakes wreak of over-blown stuffed presentations, poor scripts, and stupid
plot developments, its no wonder 2002's The Time Machine isn't better than it should be. While
the first half of the film is paced nicely and sets itself up quite well, it's the second half that rushes through
and is over just as quickly as it begins. Odd situation-related dialog gives the feeling that a little too much of
the film was left on the cutting room floor. Director Simon Wells (H.G. Wells's great-grandson) was
replaced by Gore Verbinski for the last 18 days of shooting, as Simon was suffering from "extreme exhaustion".
Wells apparently returned for post-production. Whether that has something to do with it or not,
something seems unorganized about the later half of the movie. The movie begs to be a "big" film and has its fun
moments, but it seems to have as many holes as a slice of Swiss.
All these complaints may indeed make you wonder why I even gave it as high a score as I did. The thing is,
the film is highly enjoyable and entertaining. Although the Morlocks have a more Planet of the Apes
or The Mummy feel to them, they're still quite creepy and hideous, with several sequences being borderline
scary. This is especially true during an intense sequence when we're first introduced to the Morlocks as they
hunt and capture several Eloi. For me, I'm usually willing to let several stupid plot developments in movies slide
by to just enjoy the film I'm desiring to like. So when one of the Eloi women named Mara has the ability to
speak English 800,000 years into the future, it may seem a little odd. They explain that only a few Eloi understand
the language -- mainly children -- which becomes really odd once a character who earlier didn't know English
is all of a sudden speaking it.
Content is mild, with especially during one instance which appeared to be paying homage to the 1960
original where we see a Morlock decompose quite rapidly as time passes. Language is very mild with just 2 uses of "h*ll" and 1 use of "d*mn."
Sex/nudity is almost non-existant with the exception of Mara wearing a semi-revealing mesh-like top at one point,
but nothing explicit is really shown. There are some disturbing sequences involving the Morlocks including
some violence, but nothing that is all that graphic or gory.
All in all the film is decent, fans will know it could be better, and those who know
better while hearing the story for the first time will also realize it lacked in parts.
It's still enjoyable despite its flaws, hence the 3.5 out of 5.
If you have any questions or comments about the film before you see it (if you
decide to), feel free to
- John DiBiase
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: Mara wears some slightly revealing clothing
during the film, including a mesh top that's partially see through
(but no explicit details can be seen through it).
Vulgarity/Language: 2 "d*mn," 1 "h*ll," 2 "G-d"
After a woman is shot, a little blood is on her clothing, with also some underneath her on the snow.
Alexander has a trickle of blood on his head an earthquake jostles him around inside the machine.
Alexander finds some sharp tools that the Morlocks apparently use to kill the Eloi which startles
him, causing him to lose his footing and fall into a pool of water filled with bones of dead Eloi.
One of the Uber-Morlock's features is a gruesome looking spine that sticks out from his back.
Alexander has some blood on his mouth and face from a fight.
As a Morlock fights Alexander, he sends the time machine through time, causing the Morlock's body, which is
outside the machine to rapidly decay down to the bone as time passes. When it dissolves, it leaves just
two dismembered hands/forearms still clinging to Alexander's neck.
Violence: A woman is shot by a mugger; The Morlocks
shoot darts at people in various instances, which are covered in a black goo; We see Morlocks tackling,
tying up and dragging Eloi through the ground; Alexander fights a Morlock; a man grabs another by the throat; two
men brutally fight; there is a large explosion.
** Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most
reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not on content. However, if the content
really affects the reviewer's opinion of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's rating.