The Time Machine [2002]

I’m with commenter Rcavey who wrote, under one review:

I’ve never seen the other versions of time machine or read the book. This remake is quite entertaining but hollow. You just don’t feel emotionally connected to any of the characters or their plight. And because of the way it’s constructed, it’s impact is dependent on it.

That being said, this story of a scientist who builds a machine to try to go back in time to prevent the death of his love is a little formulaic and by the numbers. As you would guess it’s something he really can’t do and he accidentally ends up travelling far into the future where cannibalistic humanoids hunt the remaining population.

One of the tribe is played by pop singer Samantha Mumba. As it stands, it’s a fun film but not very memorable. That being said there are far worse ways to spend 90 minutes.

Samantha Mumba was interesting – I felt she fitted the bill quite well – rustic neanderthals, quite simple and seemingly defenceless, just quietly accepting the horror all about them, eking out a living in which no one works for any remuneration, only to be picked off as fodder …

… and suddenly I stopped and thought about the 10:30 a.m. post and how we’re all becoming now.  Unable to alter what they do up there – stars tennis balls, knowing nothing else in Millennials’ case,they just meekly accept the way of things.  Not me, matey, though having said that, what can I actually do to alter it?

The time plot holes are not good – once you start down this path of time travel, your story arc gets quite complicated and stretches the show’s accepted time frame.  What I mean is it can get quite ridiculous and even dishonest – invoking time travel as the cure-all for anomalies.

I had one such sequence near the end of my long book and though I did not consciously at the time base it on The Time Machine, more on Doctor Who, it was still problematic to write.  His new wife to be had been killed some time back.

This was now the end time, they meet up and discuss how things happened back then, a bit as in Minority Report:

It was Ksusha and their child, now as a toddler and [Hugh] was stuck to the spot, something she observed with amusement in her wraithlike state.

‘So … it took you long enough,’ she opened and he grinned. ‘As you see, Bebe, we lose solidity but I can still feel for you. Hugh, meet Hugh.’

‘Ah.’ He did what passed for lifting his son towards him and the baby looked at him, failing to be horrified. In fact, a smile broke out across his face. He looked more like mama than papa.

‘I’m so sorry about your flat, Ksusha, we visited it while we were in the last house by the way.

‘You speak of flats?’ But her voice was kind. ‘I’ve seen it anyway – it’s in good hands. Well it was, until what’s happening now. I was with you, Hugh, when you came on the 9th but not on the 40th. On the 40th, I was occupied here. It did help though – I want you to know that. I’ve met your Sophie, by the way – you like our kind, don’t you?’

That was nice. ‘Look, I have to ask you, Ksusha – did we stay together? Well, you know what I mean – if you were alive. Do they let you know those things?’

She put a hand to his face and those shapely fingers were as he remembered them. He tried to kiss them and she smiled.

‘I’m sorry to say, Hugh, that I was killed a second time, if I can put it like that. That was why I wasn’t … um … actually there on the 40th. You see, we’d gone back to Shadzhara, you and me, it was too much for me, this being married … about to become a mother and all that.

I ran away to have some time to myself. You knew I’d go to the forest, you found me there but they did too – the enemy, you remember? We were killed – you, me, Little Hugh, all three of us.’

He was shocked to the core.

‘Don’t worry, it was quick, summary, that’s how it’s done in a Russian forest. There is a third scenario though,’ she smiled again. ‘I did not run out, I had our baby and we stayed together. So it depends on whether I ran out or not.’

‘And did you?’

‘How can I know because I was killed at the English Chapel first and you weren’t there the second time.’

‘That’s too much for my brain to sort out.’

‘I think I stayed – let’s remember it that way, OK?’

3 comments for “The Time Machine [2002]

  1. Brightside Bob
    June 1, 2020 at 23:10

    What struck me about this version compared to the Rod Taylor one is the Eloi.

    In the earlier film the Eloi are (iirc) blond haired whiteys…?!

    The Samantha Mumba Eloi (seem to me to) fit the Coudenhove Kalergi Plan for humankind perfectly… hmm.

    Ps: Stay Safe; Stay Sane Mr. H.

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