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The Time Machine (2002) Warner Brothers, DreamWorks SKG
1 hr. 31 mins.
Starring: Guy Pearce, Jeremy Irons and Mark Addy
Directed by: Simon Wells



The Time Machine

Rating:

  E-MAIL GIANCARLO DE LISI

Photo: Warner Brothers, DreamWorks SKG


Director Simon Wells attempts at recreating his Great Grandfather's epic tale in 'The Time Machine'. This cinematic debacle provides for quite a taxing experience as this film shifts genres as easily as it changes setting. Guy Pearce stars as Alexander Hartegan, a whimsical and proficient mathematician who succeeds at traveling through time when he loses his sourly developed love interest. Pearce incarnates a well bred and intellectual character who slowly lets loose as the script; or lack thereof, calls for his intense and physical side to emerge.

This is just one of the conundrums Simon Wells' film aspires to. It commences as a classical science fiction film that has Americans speaking in purely British accents in New York City, then shift changes into a thriller, a drama, a love story and an actioneer. Films that do not have an identity cannot be successful; this is one of those films that cannot be categorized. That being said, the film is extremely well done and features some phenomenal visual effects, yet would one expect less from a film co-financed by Warner Bros and DreamWorks Pictures? Special effects can only carry a film so far, this film has ludicrous pacing that causes an abandonment of hope for a decent film; at best.

Pearce's character insults his acting and brings no justice to the talent witnessed in 'L.A. Confidential'. Instead, Pearce is forced through a film that displays the many elements of late script revisions, multiple post production debates on how the film should end resulting in a blemish on his resume. Pearce is a great actor but demotes himself in this studio driven mess that begs the question: What is the point of this film?

No matter how bad a film, every film has a story to tell and is trying to resolve some central conflict. In this film, we are treated to a menacing Jeremy Irons (who is credited for the film yet has a total screen time of 10 minutes) who incarnates the Uber-Orlock, a creature that is a result of the disintegration of evolution (don't ask), who holds the key to the point of the film. Moreover, once we are exposed to this truth, this ridiculous driving force is invalidated and adds no value. As a result, we are unimpressed so much so that the final climactic sequence is overdrawn and depressing.

This film is a testament to the stupidity Hollywood can deliver. This is a well-made film with some fantastic production values; yet, when there is absolutely no direction due to lack of plot, there can be no film.

Click here to comment on this review or post your own thoughts.

Giancarlo De Lisi
TheWorldJournal.com




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