Directed by Simon Wells, starring Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba, Mark Addy, Sienna Guillory and Phyllida Law and Omero Mumba.
Is there no end to the incessant desire of Hollywood to resurrect classic films and remake them? It seems the trend is set to continue and we can blame last year's box office hit 'Planet of the Apes' for renewed interest in time-travel fantasy flicks. This time it's the HG Wells classic and it's difficult not to fear another literary butchering on the big screen.
Inventor Alexander Hartdegen is a man obsessed by science and the ability to solve the mysteries of time with mathematical formulae. After tragedy strikes his personal life, he locks himself away to find an equation that will literally help him to turn back time. Using his own time machine, he travels backwards and then forwards in time, landing 800,000 years into the future, where he meets Mara (Samantha Mumba) and her little brother Kalen (Omero Mumba). The human race has devolved into hunter and hunted, with Mara's Eloi kin hunted by the cannibalistic Morlocks.
The film's saving grace is Guy Pearce as the perennially likeable inventor. Samantha Mumba's performance is pallid but not unconvincing. Jeremy Irons trots out a favourite role of his as the English-accented baddie – but with more make-up this time. There is an unwritten rule in the modern celluloid world when representing fantasy or good old-fashioned story-telling – eclipse everything with special effects. Plot and story seem secondary to visual effects in this below-average science fiction effort but it doesn't entirely bore you to oblivion (again largely due to Pearce).
'The Time Machine' won't be Samantha Mumba's springboard to acting fame but it will probably be remembered with the same regard as her entire pop career.