The Time Machine

The Time Machine

Simon Wells (2002)

PG Certificate


Our Score
People of a certain age will always have a soft spot for director George Pal's 1960 adaptation of HG Wells's The Time Machine. It remains an innovative sci-fi staple and, fittingly, a time capsule of imaginative rather than effects-laden film-making. What will this dull, philosophically fudged and digitally dependent remake say about the early 21st-century when seen in the future? Chiefly, that we can't tell a tried and tested yarn - Victorian inventor travels 800,000 years forward in time and finds that a post-apocalyptic civilisation has divided into a two-tier caste system - without recourse to standard action-movie heroics. A hollow-cheeked Guy Pearce tries hard to inhabit the character of the driven Professor Hartdegen, but the minute he arrives in the future he strips to the waist and shows off his far from professorial pecs to pop singer Samantha Mumba - whose Dublin accent might have been reined in by a more experienced director than Simon Wells. Also, as the great-grandson of the esteemed author, Wells might have had more nous than to include the postmodern comic interlude in a future library where holographic archivist Orlando Jones gently mocks both the book and previous film.


A 19th-century scientist resolves to prove time travel is possible - and when his fiancee is killed, he embarks on a challenging mission to change the course of history. However, although his time machine works, he is still unable to alter past events - and as he journeys into the future, he finds himself in a terrifying situation. Sci-fi adventure, based on the HG Wells novel, with Guy Pearce and Samantha Mumba.

Cast & Crew

Professor Alexander Hartdegen Guy Pearce
Mara Samantha Mumba
Uber-Morlock Jeremy Irons
Vox Orlando Jones
Dr David Philby Mark Addy
Emma Sienna Guillory
Mrs Watchit Phyllida Law
Kalen Omero Mumba
Flower store worker Alan Young
Director Simon Wells
Director Gore Verbinski
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Violence.Available on: video and DVDReleased on: 31 May 2002