Feeling pretty jaded on Sunday, we sat down to watch the re-make of The Time Machine. I’d been meaning to see it for an age, but had never gotten round to it, so a hungover Sunday afternoon seemed the perfect time to put that right. This is the one with Guy Pearce under–playing the lead role to the point of anonimity, and Simon Wells butchering his grandfather’s original tale beyond recognition. You know the one.
In amongst the butchering was this hella cool scene set around 30 or so years from now, where Mike from Neighbours parks up the time machine and wanders forward onto a bustling city street of the future. In the background there is an animated billboard advert with voice-over for leisure homes on the moon. Cool future-spin, thought I. After a brief exchange with some futuristic lycra wearing cyclist chick, Mike jumps back in the time machine, but barely gets going before being jarred by some obviously very jarring thing. He parks up again and finds the same city street in ruins, flame all around and military vehicles patroling the area, yet this is only a couple of years since he parked up previously. Wow, I thought, very cool.
At this point a pair of soldiers approach our time traveling lead and try to apprehend him. When he enquires as to WTF is going on, it turns out that the demolitions on the moon (for the leisure complex) have “screwed up” its orbit. Cue camera shot of night sky and the moon looking a little bit wonky to say the least. ‘Kin Awesome!
If the movie had forgotten all about time travel at that point, I would have been a happy man. At this juncture, I wanted a near–future sci-fi romp where the moon had been skewed from its usually serene path around the Earth. This would have been exciting, and the effects up to this point had been pretty darn good by any stretch, so the scene was set for something pretty memorable.
But no, before a truly cool sci-fi romp could be snatched from the cleavers of the butcher, Mike from Neighbours was back in the time machine and off to ruin the rest of HG Wells’ classic story.
I recovered from the disappointment in time to catch a glimpse of the moon 800,000 years on, where it hung fragmented in the velvet sky. But by that point the opportunity to make a different but better movie was gone. Not often is it that a movie can unintentionally ruin two movies.
Crazy Uncle John was right – I should have avoided seeing this.