Its 1899 and mathematician Dr. Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce) is brilliant and rich, but scatterbrained and idealistically naive. When his lateness causes his fianc�e�s (Emma, played by Sienna Guillory) death by a mugger in a New York park he blames himself. He assumes that if he were on time they would not have met up with her killer. Distraught, he spends the next 4 years building a time machine and losing his clumsy naivet�. He goes back in time and relives meeting Emma, but he can�t change the outcome. He decides to go into the future to find out how to change the past.
Impressively, he views the changing face of New York, but stops in 2037�the Earth is facing a catastrophe as the Moon is breaking apart due to the abusive nature of the lunar colonies.
Banged around by the Moon�s crack-up, Hartdegen�s Time Machine continues forward. We witness the incredible changes that take place over thousands and thousands of years. Hartdegen finally wakes up and stops the machine. He�s in the year 800,000 CE.
Instead of hightailing right back to the year 2000 and using his knowledge and prestige to stop lunar colonization, Hartdegen stays awhile and get nursed back to health by Mara (Samatha Mumba). Luckily, she is a teacher and knows English. Mara takes him to see an old friend from 2037�a �photonic creation,� one of the NY Public Library�s Informational Units (Orlando Jones�who should keep his embarrassing performance off his resume).This three-dimensional creation knows everything and lets us in on what happened. After the Moon broke apart, humans evolved into two species. One was the peaceful Eloi, the other the evil, underground monsters, the Morlocks, led by a super-brain humanoid (Jeremy Irons).
The Eloi are really good-looking, peaceful gazelles, grazing along until feeding time when the weakest are picked off for food by the Morlocks�futuristic lions on the hunt. And while the Super-brain Humanoid controls the Morlocks thoughts and actions, he has absolutely no ability to organize a civilization. In one fuzzy moment of logic, Hartdegen decides that destroying the Time Machine will invert the entire progression of the Earth to this point�or something like that.
Since he�s the only intelligent person on the planet with an education (he can�t reason with Super-brain who isn�t interested in finally having someone educated to talk to) he can�t explain what he�s doing or its purpose. Whatever he does, it works.
So Hartdegen destroys the Morlocks and the Super-brain Humanoid and becomes the most important person on the planet.
Its clear that Pearce and Wells had no firm grasp on Hartdegen�s character. At first, he�s a lovesick puppy fumbling along, then he becomes a fast thinking action hero. THE TIME MACHINE is a loopy love story with good special effects but a storyline that�s logically incomprehensible.
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