So there’s this guy, Alexander Hartdegen (played by Guy Pierce), who loses his fiancÃ© and builds a time machine to try and get her back. Well, he doesn’t actually lose her. She dies.
This movie would be really lame if that was the whole plot. Luckily, that isn’t the whole plot and the movie is a winner for sure.
There are monstrous alien-looking beings that dwell underground and eat people, a holographic guy who knows everything, cocoon-like huts built on the sides of cliffs, and really neat special effects.
It starts out like I mentioned before. Alex loses the love of his life and spends the next four years building a time machine so he can save her from her untimely death. But when he goes back her death seems to be unavoidable. Alex can’t simply accept this, so he decides to go into the future in order to find out how to change the past. He travels from 1899 to 2030, all the way up to the year 802,701. And, as you can imagine, a lot changes in 80,000 years. The moon is broken, humans have split into two different species, and just about everything is kind of weird.
This is when Samantha Mumba is introduced to us. She played Tom Cruise’s damsel in distress in Mission Impossible 2. This time she plays Mara, a teacher in a small village. She is the one who finds Mr. Hartdegen in his time machine and takes him to where she and her people reside.
The imagery at this point of the movie is quite enchanting. Mara’s village is set high above a river on the sides of cliffs. It is an architectural marvel if the housing shown in this movie really exists. The community is surrounded by a large, lush jungle and bamboo forests. It seems to be some sort of paradise. But, naturally, there is trouble in paradise and it’s real bad.
The trouble here is embodied by large, hideous, human being eating monsters that, apparently, used to be humans themselves. Every now and then they get hungry and decide to snatch up a couple of the tribe’s people to eat. The locals have learned to accept their role as prey, but when Mara is taken by the beasts, Alex must go after her and attempt to save her. While on his mission to save her, he also finds the answer to his question “Why can’t the past be changed?”
This movie is quite an adventure. There wasn’t a moment of disinterest for me during the hour and a half that I sat in the plush seats of the Cheney cinema. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the academy overlooks this movie when deciding on the “best picture” nominations. It isn’t chalk full of great actors. It doesn’t have a deep meaning that touches the human spirit. It doesn’t even have a scene that could squeeze a couple of tears out of the audience, but one thing this movie does have is entertainment value. If you want to be entertained for 90 minutes, check out Time Machine. It beats playing video games in your room, unless you really, really like to play video games in your room. Then you might opt to stay home.