[Screen It]

 

"THE TIME MACHINE"
(2002) (Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Moderate Heavy *Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Minor Extreme None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor Minor Moderate *Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: A late 19th century scientist travels through the years in a time machine of his own invention as he tries to figure out why he can't change the past.
PLOT:
Alexander Hartdegen (GUY PEARCE) is a first-year associate professor at New York City's Columbia University in the late 1890s who's so busy and preoccupied with his work, experiments and theorems that he needs to be reminded by his associate, Dr. David Philby (MARK ADDY), that he's to propose to his girlfriend, Emma (SIENNA GUILLORY), that night, a point that causes his housekeeper, Mrs. Watchit (PHYLLIDA LAW), to tidy him up.

Despite his habitual lateness and distractions, Emma agrees, but finds herself the immediate victim of a robbery gone bad. Four years later, and still obsessed by the disastrous turn of events, Alexander has built a time machine that he plans to use to travel back in time, prevent Emma's death, and then allow things to play out the way they should have. Unfortunately, Alexander learns that you can't mess with time and has his quest thwarted.

He thus sets out to explore the future and lands in the year 2030 where he encounters Vox (ORLANDO JONES), an all-knowing library "protonic" linked to all of the databases of the world. Despite this fascinating find, Alexander sets out further into the future, hoping to find an answer as to why he can't change the past. A freak accident, however, leaves him unconscious with his machine sending him far into the future.

He eventually arrives in the year 802,701 where seemingly primitive, cliff-dwelling people known as the Eloi live. Two of them, Mara (SAMANTHA MUMBA), a young adult woman, and Kalen (OMERO MUMBA), a younger boy, have managed to learn how to speak English, and try to explain their ways to Alexander. As he tries to figure out this world that's so foreign from the one he left, he soon learns why there are no adults among the Eloi.

It turns out another savage race of beings, the subterranean Morlocks, feed upon the Eloi and occasionally pop out for some quick raids on the peaceful people. After they abduct Mara, Alexander then sets out to rescue her, eventually causing him to encounter their all-knowing leader, the Uber-Morlock (JEREMY IRONS).

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast or sci-fi and/or time travel films, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense sequences of action violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GUY PEARCE plays a professor and inventor who's so upset with his fiancÚ's murder that he invents a time machine that he hopes will allow him to travel into the past to save her. When that doesn't work, he travels into the future and deals with what he finds there.
  • SAMANTHA MUMBA plays an intelligent woman that he meets in the distant future who teaches him about her world.
  • OMERO MUMBA plays a young boy who's also part of her society.
  • JEREMY IRONS plays the head Morlock, a highly intelligent, yet savage creature who both controls and feeds upon the Eloi.
  • ORLANDO JONES plays an all-knowing, holographic being that Alexander occasionally meets.
  • SIENNA GUILLORY plays Alexander's fiancÚ who meets an untimely demise.
  • MARK ADDY plays Alexander's associate who tries to help him on various occasions.
  • PHYLLIDA LAW plays Alexander's fastidious housekeeper.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated sci-fi picture. Violence consists of various deaths (one person by gunshot, another by being struck or crushed by a cart or vehicle, a creature by the rapid succession of time, and many others that are vaporized in an explosion). Several instances of non-lethal fighting or attacking are also present.

    Some of those scenes (that occasionally have bloody or somewhat gross results) and other moments of peril may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to some viewers, particularly younger kids, but that all depends on the viewer's age, disposition and tolerance for such material.

    Beyond that, a few characters have bad attitudes, profanity consists of a handful of minor expletives, and a woman is briefly seen in some partially revealing clothing. Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific content information.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, a few moments of that occur during one of the early time travel sequences.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a tiny bit of blood on a woman's clothing and more on the snow behind her head after she's shot.
  • Alexander has a little bit of blood on his head after being knocked around inside his time machine.
  • After finding "surgical" instruments apparently used to kill the Eloi, Alexander slips and falls into a pond of water filled with skeletal remains of Eloi.
  • We see a somewhat exposed and gory looking spine and base of a skull and brain in one of the Morlocks (that's apparently the natural look and not a wound or injury).
  • Alexander has a little bit of blood in his mouth and on his face during and after a fight.
  • A Morlock rapidly decomposes with the quick passage of time (we see its flesh start to decay down to the bone), leaving just its two severed hands/forearms still around Alexander's neck.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A mugger has both for robbing Alexander and Emma, especially after just hearing them get engaged (and then being responsible for Emma's death).
  • The head Morlock has both for using the Eloi as the Morlocks' source of food.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" or "Blood/Gore" could be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to some viewers, especially younger ones, but most adults probably won't find too much of what's present here that way.
  • A mugger confronts Alexander and Emma at night in the park. The mugger eventually pulls out his gun and pushes Alexander backwards to get Emma's ring. The two of them briefly struggle and Alexander then struggles with the thief whose gun accidentally goes off, mortally wounding Emma.
  • Some men grab and then cuff Alexander in a city of the future that's been ravaged by moon debris falling onto it (we see many burning, damaged or destroyed buildings and cars). As the street then begins to crack open, Alexander races for his time machine, only to be throttled around inside it and eventually knocked unconscious.
  • As some suspenseful music plays, Alexander has a dream where we see his point of view of racing through the jungle to suddenly come across a large and menacing-looking skull like statue.
  • The Eloi panic and try to run to safety as the Morlocks suddenly show up and start firing some sort of darts into some of them. This goes on for several minutes, with Alexander eventually saving Kalen, but then having to fight and/or flee from one of the attacking creatures.
  • The sight of the Morlocks (somewhat ape-like with menacing expressions) might be unsettling or scary to some younger kids.
  • Alexander suddenly finds himself dangling from a sheer cliff while climbing down into the Morlocks' underground lair.
  • After finding "surgical" instruments apparently used to kill the Eloi, Alexander slips and falls into a pond of water filled with skeletal remains of Eloi.
  • Alexander and Mara trying to escape up through a tunnel as many Morlocks quickly chase after them.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Pistol: Used to rob a couple and accidentally shoot and kill one of them during the ensuing scuffle.
  • Darts: Fired by the Morlocks at the Eloi.
  • Knife: Used by a Morlock in an attempt to kill Alexander.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Poor bastard," "Screwed up" and "Idiot."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A Morlock suddenly grabs Alexander by the hair.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 damns, 1 hell and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "My God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see part of Mara's upper thighs as her clothing spreads apart as she climbs a ladder. Later, she wears some sort of mesh top that's partially see through (thus one can see the shapes of her bare breasts, but no explicit details beneath it).
  • SMOKING
  • A few miscellaneous people smoke pipes in different scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Mara and Kalen's parents are dead, but not very much is made of that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Time travel and the paradox of whether one could go back and change a past event that directly led to the development of such a time machine.
  • What the future will be like years, decades or thousands of years from now.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of what occurs in this category, save for the first few entries, takes place in a sci-fi/action and adventure fashion rather than of graphic realism.
  • A mugger confronts Alexander and Emma at night in the park. The mugger eventually pulls out his gun and pushes Alexander backwards to get Emma's ring. The two of them briefly struggle and Alexander then struggles with the thief whose gun accidentally goes off, mortally wounding Emma.
  • A woman is accidentally killed by being struck by a car or wagon (we hear the accident and then see part of her body as she lies dead on the street).
  • Some men grab and then cuff Alexander in a city of the future that's been ravaged by moon debris falling onto it (we see many burning, damaged or destroyed buildings and cars). As the street then begins to crack open, Alexander races for his time machine, only to be throttled around inside it and eventually knocked unconscious (we later see/learn that he also injured his ribs from that).
  • The Eloi panic and try to run to safety as the Morlocks suddenly show up and chase and/or start firing some sort of darts into some of them (that knock some of them down). As the chase continues, one of the Morlocks knocks or throws several Eloi aside. It then jumps and lands on one (stepping down on him), tying his feet and then dragging him away. More Eloi are knocked down or aside, with another being lassoed and yanked to the ground and others being abducted.
  • One of the creatures chases after Kalen, but Alexander knocks it down, and then hits it on the face with a large bamboo-like pole. He then flees as the creature chases after him and tries to jump on him, but misses, crashing through some trees. As Alexander then tries to climb away, the creature jumps up and grabs him by the foot. He then kicks it in the face, causing it to fall and land quite hard on its back on the ground. It then comes back after him, with both eventually falling to the ground. It then has him by the throat on the ground, but Kalen uses a torch to drive it away.
  • A Morlock suddenly grabs Alexander by the hair.
  • A Morlock uses telekinesis to cause Alexander to fly through the air over to him where he then grabs him by throat.
  • Alexander and a Morlock struggle and fight inside his time machine, with each punching or otherwise striking the other. The Morlock then repeatedly takes Alexander's head and smashes it against the inside of the machine, as Alexander then punches him in the face several times. The creature then tries to strike Alexander with a knife that's knocked aside and then grabs Alexander by the throat. It eventually dangles from Alexander's throat (around which it has its two hands) until it rapidly decomposes with the quick passage of time, leaving just its two severed hands/forearms still around Alexander's neck.
  • A Morlock shoots Alexander with a dart, but Mara hits the creature in the face with a shovel.
  • A huge explosion vaporizes many Morlocks and destroys many of their underground lairs.



  • Reviewed March 4, 2002 / Posted March 8, 2002

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Collateral Beauty] [La La Land] [Manchester By The Sea] [Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.