Time Machine, The

October 1st, 2002 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

H G Wells’ seminal vision of time travel has influenced the entire science fiction genre. It’s also given us the common cultural folklore we all know about the paradoxes and intricacies of time travel — whether it’s a chair with a giant fan on the back, Skynet or a souped up DeLorean.

And in the hands of Well’s real-life great grandson Simon, this big studio effort pays an entertaining and satisfying homage to the story.

Alexander Hardgarten (played by an over-eager, overacting Guy Pearce), a 19th century New York professor and scientific radical, is haunted by the death of his fiancee. He becomes a recluse, devising his time machine to return to the evening of her death and save her.

When she dies a second time, he wonders if bigger forces are at work in the universe and decides to travel into the future (for reason not entirely clear) to find out why.

After an inspired near-future stopover in the 2030’s, he ends up in the 800,000th century, a world of primeval forests, inhabited by the peaceful Eloi and their nasty symbiotic brethren, the monstrous Morlocks. Alex simultaneously frees the Eloi from haunted slavery and learns the truth (that he is his own paradox) from a new character — the brains of the Morlock outfit — played by Jeremy Irons.

The disc has some interesting extras, a few 10-minute documentaries on the effects and creatures, a decent commentary and a deleted scene, and would complement a DVD of the original 1962 Rod Taylor classic nicely.


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