Science fiction and fantasy
The Time Machine
directed by Simon Wells
Only there are complications, so he travels forward in time in an attempt to fix things. Although the plot is an old one, it comes across as a completely modern piece once he uses the machine. He takes a trip to the near future, then goes to the very distant future where two species, the Eloi and the Morlock, inhabit the Earth.
Alexander befriends the peaceful Eloi and stays with Mara, played by Samantha Mumba. But the Eloi are being preyed on by the Morlocks, who snatch them once in a while. The Morlocks are fierce and ugly orc-like creatures.
There is plenty of action, and the effects are excellent. The primitive world of the far future has a fantasy feel to it, and the Morlock's tunnels in particular are reminiscent of Tolkien's orc-pits. Jeremy Irons comes over all gothic dark lord or fairy king as the Uber-Morlock, with his pale skin and bondage attire. It's one of those laughable supervillain roles, and he makes a fair pass at being menacing in spite of the camp getup.
Samantha Mumba and Guy Pearce are adequate in their roles. However Pearce doesn't convince as a romantic lead because the spark between himself and Mumba just isn't there. This is more of a weepy movie overall, although there are elements of action and adventure towards the end. It needs a passionate leading man, even if the character of Alexander isn't an especially gung-ho type.
These points are mostly mere nit-picking. Pearce successfully conceals his Australian accent and doesn't come across as wooden. The main problem with this movie is that at 96 minutes it's over too quickly. Plot, effects and acting all come together to make a very watchable whole. Sure, time travel is impossible as we know it without huge speeds and vast expenditure of energy. The old chestnut that changing the past will radically alter the future is glossed over, and technical details are ignored. But that's not the point, it's not hard science fiction by any means. The look and the subject matter are based on fantasy, and considered that way it's an acceptable story.
The movie isn't too taxing on the mind, with only light doses of real science and philosophy. Coupled with love scenes that go no further than hand-holding, and not overmuch violence, it's a film aimed at the whole family. It's good, but it probably won't blow you away.
If you like this, try:100 Million BC by Louie Myman
A military team go back in time to rescue people trapped in the time of the dinosaurs.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Robert Schwentke
Henry can travel through time. But is his ability a blessing or a curse?
Primer by Shane Carruth
A couple of engineers build a machine in their garage which turns out to have astonishing powers.