Volume 95, Issue 83

Tuesday, March 12, 2002
 
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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Men with Brooms will sweep you off your seat

Time Machine needs tweaking

Ice hits audience with laughter

Black's back, no thanks to Osama

Time Machine needs tweaking

The Time Machine

Starring: Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba, Mark Addy, Jeremy Irons

Directed By: Gore Verbinski, Simon Wells

Two stars (out of five)

By Brent Carpenter
Gazette Staff

The Time Machine is an excruciatingly average piece of fluff that completely disregards its source material (H. G. Wells' timeless novel by the same name). Instead, the studio big-wigs seemed to have taken the easiest route to the biggest dollar.

Rather than respecting the viewer's intelligence, the filmmakers have transformed one of the year's most promising films into a marketing-friendly disaster that brings new meaning to the phrase "style over substance."


Gazette File Photo


The story begins with the lead character Alexander (Guy Pearce) and his beautiful fiancée Emma (Sienna Guillory) taking a quiet walk in Central Park that soon ends in tragedy. A thief attempts to rob them and after a brief scuffle, Alexander finds himself a bachelor. He then takes up the personal quest of finding a way to reunite with his lost love.
"OH BABY YEAH! THAT'S IT, NOW LOOK DISINTERESTED. PERFECT!" Guy Pearce is seen here modeling for Time Machine Weekly.

After four years of planning, Alexander creates a time machine, but following a few devastating attempts to go back and alter the past he comes to the realization that, once someone dies, it is forever unchangeable. Instead, Alexander uses his time machine to move forward – 800000 years into the future.

It is within this dystopic future that Alexander meets Mara (Samantha Mumba), an Eloi (a futuristic creature exactly like a human).

It turns out that human beings (Eloi) are no longer the dominant earth species. Instead, it is the Morlocks – goofy-looking monster-type creatures who look as if they were cut during auditions for Lord of the Rings .

The remainder of the movie has all the trappings of a Jurassic Park sequel – it is a boring waste of money that contains a bunch of stupid people running around and screaming.

Guy Pearce is fine in his role, having no trouble playing the smartest person in any film. It's a shame Pearce didn't hold out for something better suited to his immense talent. Upon seeing different stages of the future, Pearce looks no more surprised than a person who woke up expecting sunshine but instead got rain.

The supporting cast is, for the most part, wasted as well.

Jeremy Irons, a fantastic character actor, seems to have taken this job just to pay his bills; he assumes the role of the Uber-Morlock, a character both unnecessary and utterly ridiculous.

Orlando Jones is also along for the disaster, playing Vox, some sort of holographic computer program who delivers serious dialogue with the facial expression of someone who looks as if he's just had a check-up with a maniacal proctologist.

These problems aside, the movie is not entirely bad. The early scenes of New York in the late 1800s are beautifully shot and the directors make good use of saturated colours to create a wonderful atmosphere in the movie's early stages. As well, The Time Machine itself looks quite futuristic and believable.

In the end, The Time Machine suffers from a severe case of schizophrenia. It's never sure whether it's a drama, action, romance or horror film and the final product suffers greatly as a result.


To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:
gazette.entertainment@uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 2002