The Time Machine (2002) 

Alan:

Ebert:1/2 San Francisco Examiner:1/2 TV Guide:


Warning, minor plot points revealed!

This was a fun movie.    The special effects were super-cool but the overall story was not very exciting.  The whole thing seemed rushed, as if much of the story ended up on the floor of the editing room.  Here's what happens:  Guy Pearce (last seen in the outstanding Memento) plays Alexander.  Alexander's fiancÚ is killed in a mugging moments after he proposes to her.  For the next 4 years he abandons everything in his life to create a time machine.  We don't get to see any of the testing or process behind it's creation.  However, based on what I've learned from movies, if you get enough stuff spinning you will eventually be able to move through time.  So he goes back in time to prevent the death of his girlfriend.  Once in the past, he tries and fails to prevent her death a second time.   This leads him on a fast forward trip through time as he searches for the answer to why he cannot alter the past.

At one point, Alexander stops during a period in history where human's  are colonizing the moon.  During construction demolitions the moon is blow out of orbit and into pieces which literally pummel the planet back into the stone age.  Here he meets another cute girl who he soon learns is basically just food for the Morlocks (a second race that evolves about 700 years after the moon falls?)  So he begins his attempt to rescue her from the dinner table.  

By this point in the movie you have discovered that this is one of the most selfish hero's you have ever seen in a film.  He knows that the moon will destroy almost everyone and everything on the planet and he has a time machine!  Instead of going back and stopping Armageddon, he continues on his little quest to save his new girlfriend and find out why he couldn't save his last girlfriend.    

I won't tell you much more about what happens because you might want to watch it someday.  I will say that the special effects were excellent!  The time lapse sequences were really cool!  The scary cannibal Morlock were neat too (and probably the only reason this film wasn't rated G.) 

Over all the special effects more than made up for the story not being very strong.  It was a fun movie to watch.  Kinda like the Planet of the Apes remake.