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Strip Mining Shatters the Moon

If only the rest of 2002's The Time Machine had been like this sequence, it would have been one of the greatest science fiction movies ever. A future attempt to colonize and mine the moon instead leads to the near-total destruction of all life on Earth, as the broken moon rains chunks of rock onto Earth. Supposedly this scene would have been much longer and more intense, but director Simon Wells (H.G.'s great grandson) feared invoking comparisons to 9/11. It leads to one of the most interesting plot twists ever.

The main character, Alexander, has been traveling forward in time from the 19th. century, assuming that humanity will keep becoming more scientifically advanced. He needs to find someone who can unravel the temporal paradox he's caught himself in, so he can save his girlfriend from being crushed back in 1899. But after the moon-blasting incident, he slowly realizes that humanity never gets any more tech-savvy. He's actually the most advanced scientific mind in human history, because we destroyed ourselves before we got any further. Okay, he does finally meet a Morlock in 802,371 who explains the movie's plot to him. But he's the greatest technological mind in history. Sucks to be him.


The other great thing about the otherwise awful Time Machine remake is the sassy holographic library computer Alexander meets in 2030, who keeps popping up throughout the movie. At one point, the movie gets all metatextual and the library hologram tells Alexander about the book The Time Machine, which was made into two movies and a Broadway musical. And then the hologram splits into four holograms and sings a selection from the musical's score.

And then, sadly, the movie dives into a vortex of suck, from which it never emerges. Weirdly, the worst parts of the movie are the only parts where it tries to be faithful to the original book, including the Morlocks/Eloi segments. It makes you wish Wells had just made an original movie, instead of trying to base on great-granddad's book.

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I wrote a whole novel based on that clip. Freaking amazing!!