Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Review: 'The Time Traveler's Wife' (C+)

By Chase Kahn

Rarely have I seen a movie that has left me at a loss for words. Robert Schwentke's The Time Traveler's Wife, adapted from the best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger, is such a film. Not indescribable in a great/speechless way, mind you, but in the way that nothing stuck with me at all. It's never bad or good enough to make an impact and as a result, it's just a bland, lifeless trip.

Part of the problem is that The Time Traveler's Wife is just flat-out disorienting. Like Henry (Eric Bana) himself, it bounces back and forth all over the place from present to future, young to old and everything in-between. Which is fine with me since it adheres strictly to Niffenegger's novel, or so I hear.

The problem is that the film has no sense of stability. It's just not made well-enough to support this structure -- it feels rushed, hurried and insignificant. At one point, Henry shows up back at his apartment where Claire (Rachel McAdams) has been supposedly waiting for him for two weeks. There is absolutely no evidence of a struggle during that time for either party and this is the main problem with the film throughout.

Most scenes in the film begin and end with Henry -- his travels, his quest for pants, his run-ins with family. Claire is unfortunately left by the wayside, present only when Henry is. It's a shame because she's the more interesting character -- it's too much Time Traveler, not enough Wife.

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