*/**** Image A- Sound A- Extras B-
starring Guy Pearce, Jeremy Irons, Philip Bosco, Phyllida Law
screenplay by David Duncan and John Logan, based on the novel by H.G. Wells
directed by Simon Wells
by Walter Chaw A cacophonous mess of misguided revisionism and misplaced emphasis, Simon Wells's (and an uncredited Gore Verbinski's) updating of H.G. Wells's poli-sci-fi schlock masterpiece The Time Machine is a miasmic disaster, a sinkhole of shrug-worthy special effects, matte paintings, relentless music, and dangling plotlines and motivations. It isn't that The Time Machine is incoherent; it's that the film aspires after several rewrites to one day become incoherent. Not even the best efforts of the always-excellent Guy Pearce can save what is in essence a pathetic cutting-room attempt to wrest the movie back from the abyss of a director suffering a nervous breakdown with eighteen days to go in the shooting schedule and a governing philosophy that believes Orlando Jones would make a good HAL-9000.