The Time Machine
Time Out saysIf you were transfixed by the 1960 George Pal version of HG Wells' time-travelling tale, you'd have every right to be worried by the prospect of a retooled new version. Fortunately, director Wells (yes, the author's great-grandson) obviously loves the old movie too, for there's enough overlap to suggest this is as much a tribute as a remake. Obviously updated effects send Pearce's scientist reeling through the years, the charm of Pal's hand-crafted stop-motion giving way to glassy but undeniably striking digital visualisation as the camera zooms out from 1890s Manhattan to finish in orbit over the lunar colonisation predicted for the mid-21st century. Gladiator writer John Logan creates a nifty lost-love subplot to spark the physicist's initial endeavours, yet the movie comes slightly unstuck by the year 802,701. Mankind has split into benign surface-dwelling Eloi and rapacious subterranean Morlocks, while the plot disappointingly capitulates to CGI monsters and breathless punch-ups. If it puts up more of a struggle than most before it turns stupid, the film would thrill us all the more if Pearce shared some of predecessor Rod Taylor's decent, brawny sense of purpose.