Guy Pearce seems to be trying to single-handedly bring back the action-adventure genre. The release of The Count of Monte Cristo, quickly followed by The Time Machine shows a shift in his career toward good old fashioned Saturday matinee kind of movies. The Count of Monte Cristo worked on that level, unfortunately the same cannot be said for The Time Machine. While it has all the elements for success – a strong leading man, a compelling story and good special effects – the film cannot seem to make up its mind as to what it wants to be. Was Simon Wells (the great-grandson of author HG Wells) trying for an action film for kids, a la 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or a sci fi / horror epic? It is hard to tell, and I wish he would have made up his mind. What is presented here is witlessly wishy-washy, despite some cool moments. It’s too scary for kids, not interesting enough for grown-up science fiction fans. Far superior is George Pal’s 1960 version of the same name.