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[[caption-width-right:300:0 to 800,000 years in 1.2 seconds.]]

''The Time Machine'' is a 2002 science fiction film directed by Simon Wells, loosely adapted from the classic [[Literature/TheTimeMachine novel of the same name]] by his grandfather Creator/HGWells.

The movie has several departures from the [[Film/TheTimeMachine1960 1960 film adaptation]]. The Time-Traveler is Dr. Alexander Hartdegen (Creator/GuyPearce), scientist and inventor. Alex sometimes comes off as overly optimistic and absent minded to his friend David Philby (Creator/MarkAddy) and his doting housekeeper Mrs. Watchit (Phyllida Law). The plot is set in motion when just after proposing to his girlfriend Emma (Creator/SiennaGuillory) the pair is mugged, and being unwilling to surrender the engagement ring she is shot and killed. Alex becomes a shut-in devoting all of his time and energy into making his theoretical time-machine into a reality. However YouCantFightFate comes into play, and his attempts to save her only result in death employing other means to find her.

Reasoning that if he discovered the secret to time-travel someone else eventually would, Alex decides to skip the years of maturation of the technology and travels forward in time, hoping to find an answer to why he cannot change the past. He arrives in the year 2037, where human efforts to colonize the moon have ended in disaster causing the moon itself to breakup and pelt the Earth with meteors. While attempting to flee this time line he is wounded and knocked out while his time machine continues forward. By the time he comes to the machine has spirited him to the year 802,701.

Here the Eloi are protrayed as Magical Native Americans, and lean very hard on AcceptableBreaksFromReality to be able to understand his language. Alex begins to make friend among the Eloi, including Mara (Samantha Mumba). Shortly thereafter Mara is kidnapped by the Morlocks, and with the Eloi too frightened to attempt a rescue he resolves to do so himself.

In the lair of the Morlocs Alex meets the Uber-Morlock (Creator/JeremyIrons), who controls the Morlocks (and spies on the Eloi) through telepathy. Knowing who and what Alexander is, the Uber-Morlock shows him a vision wherein his wife never dies, and as a result he chooses to spend his time with her and with his family rather than on building his time-machine. Now having given him the answer to the question of why he couldn't change the past, the Uber-Morlock chooses to direct Alexander to return to his own time. But with nothing to return home to, Alexander chooses to fight the Uber-Morlock and converts his time-machine into a bomb to destroy the Morlocks, hopefully freeing the Eloi from their predation. The movie ends with Alexander finally coming to terms with the events he cannot change, and moving on to live in the new time in which he has found himself.

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!!Tropes from the 2002 film version which weren't in the book:

* AdaptationExpansion: Our hero now has a BackStory in which he invents the time machine in order to go back and prevent his fiancée's untimely death.
* AnAesop: Accept the things you cannot change, and move on, no matter how painful it is.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: The Eloi this time around are portrayed as having a somewhat dark, relatively even tan. This was presumably the result of thousands of years of constant intermingling, in contrast to the white Eloi in the 1960 version.
* AnachronismStew: In the opening, it's passingly mentioned that Alex is corresponding with a German patent clerk named Einstein. The film opens in 1899. Albert Einstein, while a brilliant university student, didn't get his job as a patent clerk until 1902.
* AndIMustScream: The Uber-Morlock ends up [[https://youtu.be/nd3MVcbnfAc?t=1m24s hanging onto the Time Machine but outside the bubble;]] he's forced to basically age to death ''in normal time'', unable to either let go of the machine or stop the process.
* AntiVillain: The Morlocks to a degree, though this loses in translation both the anti-war symbolism of the 1960 film and the class commentary in the original novel. As the Uber-Morlock explains, they were forced by circumstance to breed themselves into castes when it became apparent to their distant ancestors (i.e. the ones who went underground) that they couldn't return topside. The Uber-Morlock, in particular, answers Alexander's question and returns his time machine to him, asking only that he leaves. The only time he actually acts hostile towards Alexander is after Alexander attacks ''him''.
* ArtisticLicenseAstronomy: An explosion on the Moon rains debris upon the Earth and leaves the Moon itself split into two large broken halves and a cloud of smaller rocks over a period of almost a million years, rather than either gravitationally attracting each other back into a single body or spreading themselves out into a ring system as they actually would have over that long an interval.
* AwesomeAnachronisticApparel: When the doctor stops in the (relatively) near future, a girl passing by admires his "retro" outfit.
* BareYourMidriff: Mara's outfit.
* BrainCriticalMass: The Uber-Morlock has a massive brain that extends down his back and uses it to control the Morlocks.
* BrainMonster: The Morlock leader is of a caste in which the brain has become so enlarged that it's not only visibly exposed on the back of his head, but its lobes extend halfway down his back as well.
* CallBack: At the start of the film, in a seemingly throwaway conversation, Alexander tells David he gets into a philosophical rant about how generic everyone's look is, with endless bowler hats, Alexander wanting to just get rid of them. In the closing seconds of the film, David looks like he's about to tip his hat to his missing friend... when he outright throws it away, showing his respect for Alexander's radical ideas.
* ChekhovsGun: Alex reaching out of the time bubble to catch his dropped pendant and his hand rapidly aging while outside the bubble's protection. [[spoiler:The Uber-Morlock is killed when Alex manages to shove him outside the bubble and sends the machine forward, aging him to dust.]]
* CulturalTranslation: The film moves the setting from London to New York.
* DeadlyDeferredConversation: Nonlethal example. Alexander is arguing with his friend after the death of his fiance. They agree to continue the discussion in a week, during which Alex intends to change history and fix things. Instead, by that time Alexander is stuck in the future.
* DisposableWoman: Emma. Alex spent ''years'' building the time machine to change history and save her from dying. Two failed attempts are depicted, and then later we're told he tried to save her ''twenty-seven times''. She really does have no further CharacterDevelopment than being destined to die.
* EternalEnglish: This time, the Eloi have their own language, but they still speak "the Stone Language" found on pieces of ruins of U.S. buildings. And Vox the AI librarian (see WhoWantsToLiveForever below) likely fills the same role in maintaining early 21st-century American English pronunciation as the talking rings did in the 1960 film.
* EvilAlbino: The Uber-Morlock.
* EvilOverlooker: [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/6f/Time_machine.jpg/220px-Time_machine.jpg The poster]].
* {{Fictionary}}: The Eloi have their own language that, oddly, sounds rather limited. The word ''tamquen'' seems to have several different connotations, as it's used several times in rapid succession at one point.
* FashionsNeverChange: Subverted in that the Eloi and Morlocks' clothing are fitting of a ScavengerWorld. Also averted, as with the 1960 version, with the fashion shop mannequin briefly seen during the first time travel sequence depicting the changing fashions throughout the first half and a bit of the 20th century.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: In the 2030s library, one of the extras (a woman scolding her son) can be heard to say "...or so help me, I'll re-sequence your genome!"
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: Arguably, this film's aversion of the trope is surprising. The book uses the Eloi-Morlock split as a commentary on class, but the 1960 film treats it as the outcome of nuclear war. Replacing nuclear war with genetic engineering seems almost too obvious an update (given that the root differences between Eloi and Morlocks are evolutionary/genetic), but instead it is changed to "lunar colony accident" by way of a more generic (or at least ambiguous) ScienceIsBad message.
* GodivaHair: Mara wears a [[VaporWear largely transparent net top]] [[{{Fanservice}} that leaves little of her upper body to imagination]] for much of the movie, yet her naughty bits are always obscured by either shadows or her long, strategically draped hair.
* IChooseToStay: Alex at the end.
* {{Irony}}: Because Alex created the machine for the purpose of saving his fiancee, that's the one thing that he can't use it to do.[[note]]The very nature of a predestinational paradox is that you'll always need to have the reason that you made the time machine to time travel in the first place.[[/note]]
* JitterCam: Used briefly during the escape scene in the finale.
* LargeHam: See OneSceneWonder.
* LostInImitation: This film seems to really be a rather loose [[TheRemake remake]] of the 1960 film, which itself was a somewhat loose adaptation of Wells' novel, so you can imagine how little it resembles the book in any way. The film ''was'' directed by a direct descendant of H.G. Wells (his great-grandson Simon Wells) so that could mitigate any dissonance in the adaptation.
* MusicalisInterruptus: In 2030 New York, when Alex cuts off Vox's singing of a selection from a musical it also cuts off the majestic background music.
* MyBrainIsBig: The Uber-Morlock. Rather than have the usual huge head, his brain extended down the neck and lower back.
* NamedByTheAdaptation: Alexander Hartdegen, the time traveler.
* NeverMyFault: The mugger that ends up killing Emma is visibly shocked by the act, and has the gall to ask Alex "Why did you [resist]? It was only a ring!" when ''he'' was the one that was mugging two people that were in the middle of a ''wedding proposal.''
* MyNaymeIs: Filby is Philby.
* TheLostLenore: The protagonist is now entirely motivated by the loss of his love Emma.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Alexander killing the Uber-Morlock leaves the more feral Morlock without a leader, bringing about an apocalypse since the feral Morlock have nothing keeping them in check. Alexander fixes this by turning his time machine into a temporal bomb, wiping out the entire colony. It's not revealed what happened to the other colonies.
* OurTimeTravelIsDifferent: The Video Cassette variety, as with the novel and the 1960 version.
* OntologicalInertia: No matter what Alex tries, his fiancée's death cannot be changed.
* PerfectPacifistPeople: Arguably, the Eloi are these, though {{deconstructed}} since it makes them easy prey for the Morlocks. The 1960 version had an anti-war sentiment that was lost in this version, shown when an Eloi male says "It is all clear," a phrase he'd learned from the Talking Rings. In THIS version, however, the Eloi are pacifists because of the Uber-Morlock's "psychic filter," which makes them forget about their dead and keeps them pacifistic. (Warning: this may have gotten lost in the cutting-room.) It's also mentioned that any Eloi who fights back simply are the one the Morlocks come for ''first''. Which is part of why the Eloi have been beaten down into submission and completely refuse to fight back.
* PromotedToLoveInterest: The 2002 film goes further than the older movie adaptation: not only was Weena replaced with a love interest named Mara and the Eloi made even less childlike, but the Time Traveler was given an entire backstory of building the machine as a way to save his girlfriend from being killed by a mugger.
* PsychicDreamsForEveryone: Literally. Though, as it turns out, it's a side effect of the aforementioned [[LaserGuidedAmnesia psychic filter]].
* RagnarokProofing:
** Averted with Earth in general. After the lunar disaster, any traces of civilization were pretty much obliterated over almost a million years.
** Inexplicably played straight with the photonic library computer. His main processing unit survives orbital bombardment, the resulting thousands of centuries of neglect, and somehow ends up ''underground'' on top of that. He even still has numerous functioning projection screens.
*** He actually mentions he's the last remaining Vox, because the rest of the library, including the original books, is fossilised or worse. It also only turns on when someone is nearby, so keeping the batteries running indefinitely.
** Also played straight with US structures. According to the now-defunct official website, those cliffs that the Eloi use to build their homes are actually old New York skyscrapers.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Given to the hero by the ''villain'' of all people.
--> '''Alex''': This is a perversion of every natural law!\\
'''Uber-Morlock''': ''(strangles Alex)'' [[ArmourPiercingQuestion And what is time travel?!]] But your pathetic attempt to control the entire world around '''you'''!
* RecursiveCanon: Alex is offered a copy of H.G. Wells' ''The Time Machine'' in the future library.
* ReleasedToElsewhere: A strange case here: When Hartdegan asks Mara about her parents, she says only that "They have gone from this place", which Hartdegan interprets as a gentle euphemism for death. However, thanks to the manipulations of the Uber-Morlock making people forget, it's possible that she genuinely does not know or remember what happens to the Eloi the Morlocks harvest.
* RemakeCameo: Besides the 1960 ''[[Film/TheTimeMachine1960 The Time Machine]]'', there had been two made-for-television movies based on Creator/HGWells' novella and Creator/AlanYoung is the only actor from any of the other three ''The Time Machine'' incarnations to appear.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: Vox, the photonic library computer. He speaks slowly to get his point across to Alexander, and even gets visibly irritated at what he regards as stupid questions, when a real computer would simply and happily attempt to answer any of his inquiries regardless of what was asked. This means that for whatever reason his creators gave him the same flaws as a human librarian would have, even though there was no reason for it and would actually hinder his performance as a library computer. On the other hand, Vox is described in the commentary as effectively being an Internet Search Engine with a Personality. Now imagine if you were a sentient compendium of all human knowledge, whose entire reason for existence was to be asked the ''same'' inane questions by people, ''over and over again?'' Can you really blame Vox for having developed into a passive-aggressive DeadpanSnarker to cope with the monotony?
** When he's turned on in the distant future, he's picked up EVEN MORE quirks, being effectively a library computer WITHOUT A LIBRARY.
* RippleEffectProofMemory: Alex changes history, but doesn't change his memory of history, even though his original impetus for using the time machine was altered when he first used it.
* ScienceIsBad: "We went too far." The irony is that Alex has drawings in his lab that perfectly mirror the 2030's New York. Despite the fact that Alex is a visionary, it was ultimately men like him that doomed the world.
* ShoutOut: The first time Vox encounters Alex, he parts from the strange fellow with a snarky "[[Franchise/StarTrek Live long and prosper]]", complete with the mandatory gesture.
* SkepticNoLonger: After living hundreds of thousands of years and happening to run into the same yokel who was babbling about impossible time travel, Vox seems to have accepted that Alex was telling the truth on that count. Not much else is made of it, as both have bigger concerns at this point.
* SlobsVersusSnobs: Morlocks and Eloi.
* SpinningClockHands: The first sign Alex is traveling into the past is when the hands on his collection of pocket watches slow down, then reverse, speeding up as he travels further back.
* StableTimeLoop: A heartwrenching example. [[spoiler:Alex ''can't'' stop Emma from dying, because her dying is the catalyst of him building his time machine, so time will come up with a way to kill her so that he ''has'' to go invent the time machine, trapping himself in the loop.]]
* TemporalParadox: In the climax, [[spoiler:Alex travels into a BadFuture where the Morlocks have ravaged the Eloi valley. He goes back and turns his time machine into a bomb to kill all of them. Now that future presumably no longer exists, yet Alex is still around]].
** Watch Back To The Future sometime. They should have erased themselves several times over.
* TimeIsDangerous: The titular device creates a spherical bubble to protect the occupant. Reach outside, that protection no long applies. Alex hurts his hand when he instinctively grabs at an item he dropped. The Uber-Morlock, while wrestling with him on the machine, ends up hanging outside the bubble and ages into dust. Logically, any attempt to reach outside the bubble should have violently scattered their atoms across dozens of years of history, or cut the Uber-Morlock's hands off when Alex started going forward, but the RapidAging looked cooler, presumably.
%%* TimeyWimeyBall: Inevitably.
* TooDumbToLive: In 2030, someone apparently thought using nukes on the moon to make caves for future habitats was a good idea. Cue, a few years later, ApocalypseHow.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Alex stops off in the 2030s on his way to 802,701.
* UndeathlyPallor: The Morlocks, though not undead, have become pale from living underground and fear the light.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Vox, the photonic library computer AI from 2030, inexplicably manages to survive the apocalypse in an above-ground building which presumably has absolutely no protection from that sort of thing. His power and memory unit last literally hundreds of thousands of years. The fact that he remembers ''everything'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61xq5Kja1Uo doesn't help.]] Leads to a bit of PetTheDog when he's given the opportunity to do the one thing he wants to do: teach.
** As a handwave, he mentions he's the only Vox left, and there's only one corridor of the entire library shown to be intact. It's not inexplicable, it's just dumb luck.
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: Goes into full effect when Alex [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9SemYK9HEw travels forward]] for the first time, making the coming destruction all the more tragic.
* YouCantFightFate: Played straight and then possibly averted. Alex tries to save Emma but every time, she gets killed. The Uber-Morlock later explains that the time machine cannot change the past in a way that prevents it from being built in the first place. Later in the movie, Alex goes to a BadFuture where the Morlocks have wiped out the Eloi, and then he goes back in time and wipes out the Morlocks. Either this means he successfully averted that bad future, or in the intervening several million years, the Morlocks from other areas will invade and wipe out the Eloi.
* YoungFutureFamousPeople: Referenced. Alex is in touch with a bright young man from a Swiss patent office, one [[UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein Mr. Einstein]].
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