H.G Wells: A man before his time
As mentioned in passing in our ‘D.U.M.Bs: The Ballad of Phil Schneider’ episode, The Time Machine, a 2002 remake of the iconic 1960 adaptation of the even more iconic H.G. Wells novel.
The novel was a breakthrough in literature and one of the first pieces of Science Fiction to introduce the changing timeline paradox that made the first two Back To The Future movies quite the head scratcher for the original adolescent audiences. The 1960 film adaptation starring Rod Taylor introduced the eponymous Time Machine that remains the ‘classic’ look of the space-time continuum jumping vehicle.
How can you make it badly?
The remake in 2002 was unfortunately not a useful addition to the body of work surrounding Wells’ novel. The movie seems cluttered and rudderless, with obvious script problems, major pacing issues and what were at the time cutting edge CGI effects layered alongside not so cutting edge make-up and practical effects. The final nail in the coffin was a cast, led by heavyweights Guy Pearce and Jeremy Irons, that was over-burdened with newcomers who provide clunky, thoughtless delivery of fantasy based dialogue.
The strange genre turn halfway through the film seems understandable given direction was helmed by two different people, Simon Wells, grandson of Herbert George Wells, whose body of works consists almost entirely of terrific animated features (The Prince of Eygpt, Balto, Fievel Goes West) and he seems the main force behind the against all odds story of lost love and fringe scientific research. The movie then spirals into a fairly straightforward and none too exciting action adventure tale in the vein of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, again unsurprising given the second man to helm the directors chair was Gore Verbinski.
The movie maintained particular notoriety in Ireland given the casting of Irish sibling music and acting performers Samantha and Omeru Mumba, and also explains why we referenced it in our ‘D.U.M.Bs: The Ballad of Phil Schneider’ episode, also there was a Morlocks joke in there somewhere.