Timeline

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Timeline
Review (3/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Based on the Michael Crichton novel, Timeline is the story of the invention of a machine that is used to "fax" people from one location to another. A loophole is discovered in the invention and a group of people, including an archeologist, are accidentally sent back in time to 1357 France where the archeologist, Professor Johnston (Billy Connolly), is captured by English soldiers. The Professor's son Chris (Paul Walker) and a group of his archeology students are sent back to rescue him. The group ends up in war-torn France, running from British soldiers who want them dead and battling the time element, where they only have six hours to rescue the Professor.

If it were not for the movie Dumb and Dumberer, Timeline would be without a doubt the worst movie of the year, in my opinion. For all those people who ripped Gigli without even seeing the movie, I can assure you it was not nearly as bad as this movie. Timeline had everything that makes a movie unbearable to watch - bad acting, bad story, boring characters, no originality, characters in ridiculous situations and characters making absurd decisions. Just the fact that they sent this group of students back in time to rescue their professor was asinine. But the way they did it in the movie - they basically showed up at the building where the machine was located, did not know why they were going there, were told about the machine and that they would be going back in time, and five minutes later were whisked back to a past of more than 600 years. I could have almost forgiven this absurdity were it not for the fact that once they got to 1357 France, the movie got even worse. Just watching the group land in medieval times, get captured by the English, escape, get captured again, escape again (was the British army really that stupid?), have a conversation where they were actually able to yell at each other across a fiery battlefield, as the fighting conveniently continued around their conversation - well, let's just say it was a painful movie-going experience. A total lackluster effort, starting from director Richard Donner and right down the line - the writers, the actors and anyone else involved in the movie. Out of all the characters, I did like the character Andre Marek, played by Gerard Butler. He was one of the few good things about the movie but then he decides to stay in 1357 instead of going back to the future. And all for a piece of ass. I suppose in some ways I could understand his decision. I mean, I've had times in my life where I would have jumped off the CN Tower for a bit of pootie tang. But this guy meets some chick and in six hours is prepared to give up his whole life for her? And out of that six hours, he spent about fifteen minutes with her. Strange, very strange. And to top it all off, he gets his ear cut off and instead of collapsing in pain and bleeding to death he is happy - and then carries on that yelling conversation across the battlefield that I mentioned earlier! With one ear!

Nevertheless, Timeline is not a movie I can recommend. It is barely rental material. The movie does have a few moments of excitement but any time the excitement builds up, the movie hits a brick wall. I've always been interested in movies that involve time travel. The concept is very cool and if done properly can make for an exciting cinematic experience. Unfortunately, Timeline fails miserably at making this movie any sort of experience at all. The characters are paper-thin - if everyone in this movie would have died I don't think I would have even noticed. The world to where they travel is a total mess - everyone is angry, everyone is fighting, the characters are either assholes or boring. If you want to do any time travel, stay away from this movie. Watch the History Channel instead. As boring as that may sound, it is not nearly as boring as this movie.

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