Directed by Simon Wells. USA. 2002.
The Time Machine (based on HG Wells’ novel of the same name) is the story Columbia University physics professor, Alexander Cartegen. One night, after proposing to his girlfriend, she is killed in a mugging gone awry. The brilliant mathematician deduces that the only way to mend his broken heart is to put his intellect to use creating a time machine to travel back in time, and save his beloved’s life.
Guy Pearce (Memento, Ravenous) stars as Alexander, and per normal is excellent. His bumbling teacher is so endearing that he makes the movie more charming by his presence in it, his moments of bravery are that much more heart pounding.
Mark Addy (The Full Monty, A Knight’s Tale) plays Alexander’s best friend and fellow teacher David Philby. Addy creates a unique character here as all to often in adventure films, the best friend turns into the one-dimensional sidekick, and Addy doesn’t allow that to happen. Although at times you get the feeling that Philby is in a constant state of bewilderment over Alexander’s behaviour and intellect, he muddles through, trying to be the best friend that he can. A nice job.
Samantha Mumba, in her cinematic debut plays Mora; a teacher from a future society that Alexander reaches. She does surprisingly well. The last time that I remember being this impressed with a singer turned actress, is with Jennifer Lopez’ turn in “Out of Sight.” Mumba has a gentle innocence about her that is quite charming.
I have two major criticism’s
of The Time Machine:
2) The pace. It’s not at all even. This film starts out in a whirlwind of gorgeous sets, beautiful scenery, new characters, Oscar worthy costumes, and then for no real reason slows to a standstill. Then it speeds up, then slows down again. Imagine being on a roller coaster where the brakes keep slamming on in the loop-de-loop and you’ll have the last thirty minutes.
It’s still one of the
most fun movies I’ve seen in a long time, and I heartily recommend it to
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