The Time Traveler’s Wife (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

There are two opposing and competing elements of THE TIME TRAVELER?S WIFE; the love story between Henry and Clare (Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams) and Henry?s uncontrollable time travel. The work is really cut out for director Robert Schwentke as he tried to tie these two elements together to create an enjoyable film. We?ve seen time travel movies before and we?ve definitely seen love stories, but we?ve never even seen an attempt at combining them. After watching this, I think the answer is clear why it?s never been done.

At the age of six, Henry experiences his first time travel, right before his mother dies. Through his travels, he meets and falls in love with Clare, although how they met and how exactly that worked out was never really defined. In fact, nothing about Henry?s ?condition? is really explained and any attempt on his part to find answers or control his time travel is barely addressed. It?s just something we as an audience have to accept. When he finally meets Clare in ?real time?, they discover that having a relationship is pretty difficult when your spouse vanishes out of thin air on a completely random basis.

The love story between Henry and Clare is really the heart of the story, but any emotional scene between them felt forced. Bana and McAdams had zero chemistry and there were too many environmental factors playing against their love for the audience to truly connect. However, the most powerful scenes were of an adult Henry meeting his mother on the subway and of Henry meeting his daughter at the zoo. Strangely enough, neither of these scenes featured McAdams and that?s because the best parts of the film centered on how Henry dealt with the time travel. I wanted to know more about things that happened to him and how he dealt with it and less about Clare. I was okay with their love story, but it should have been more of a subplot than a focal point.

However, I will say that there are some emotional moments in the film, even if they didn?t completely pull at your heartstrings. I found myself wanting to care more than I actually did care. We had to root for these characters but because of some of the elements of the film, we knew how they were going to end and where the story was going. If not for a really good performance from the young Hailey McCann, it would have been tough to get through the third act altogether.

At the end of the day, science-fiction fans will struggle buying into the time travel aspect because they left too many things unaddressed and glossed over too many of the intricacies of time travel. There are several time loops and plot holes that left me scratching my head. However, it was clear that the focus of the film was on the love story with the time travel as a backdrop, but that just didn?t work. As it was, the time travel distracted from the love story and therefore we were left with two halves of a film that were very underdeveloped.

Video: How does it look?

Some light ambiance is noted as Bana enters the city, the usual array of police sirens and pedestrian chatter. The grassy field young Clare is having a picnic in has some noticeable bird chirps as well. Dialogue is on par in terms of fidelity for modern films, and expecting less would be relatively ridiculous. The minimal music is clear with no noticeable problems.

Audio: How does it sound?

A DTS-HD mix has only a few moments to show off, notably a beefy, loud car crash right from the start. Near the end, a fireworks display provides ample opportunity for bass and surround use, which it does wonderfully. A gunshot, also late, delivers a forceful low-end jolt.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Two featurettes make up the entirety of the extras, the first a solid making-of called An Unconventional Love Story that runs for 26-minutes, and Love Beyond Words, which details the process of bringing the book to the screen for 21-minutes. These are great, because it means less time you have to spend on this tripe.

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