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The Time Machine

Year: 2002
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Simon Wells
Writer: H G Wells
Cast: Guy Pearce, Jeremy Irons, Orlando Jones
A mostly faithful retelling of the 1962 classic, given interesting new life by modern cinematography. Guy Pearce spends the first half hour irritatingly overacting as the rebellious professor. Whereas Rod Taylor acted out of simple scientific curiosity, the big studio treatment gives him a cause - to go back into the past to save his girlfriend from her impending murder. Fate steps in and she dies again for reasons never fully explained, except that it appears to be her fate, and some god demands she meet it one way or another.

From there, he travels into the far future to find out why (after an inspired stopover in 2037, where nuclear detonations to build a lunar resort have destabilised the moon, causing it to break up and fall to Earth). In 800,000 AD he meets the Eloi, falls for the beautiful native girl (Mumba), befriends the cute boy, and tries to convince the villagers to fight back against the morlocks, who could have been a lot more terrifying (their faces are cartoon-ridiculous but the CGI effects of them are great). Cerebral chief morlock Jeremy Irons gives a confusing speech you know is about the consequences of time travel but still doesn't make any sense, and the machine is destroyed to kill off the morlock race, stranding him in the future where he meets a Hollywood happy ending.

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