Timeline Review

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by Phil Hinton Apr 1, 2004 at 12:00 AM

    Timeline Review
    The movie opens when a man is found on an American desert highway by a passing motorist. He is dead and the reason seems to be that all his body has been split down the middle. Over in France a group of scientists lead by Professor Edward Johnson (Billy Connelly) are excavating a medieval castle and its surrounding sites. The dig is being funded by big business but something is troubling the professor about the clues he is getting about the dig from the sponsors. He sets out to meet with the company and a few days later a student on the dig finds a 600 year old note with the professors writing asking for help. This is all too strange and soon the students led by the Professors son, Chris (Paul Walker) head to the company for answers. What they get is some mumbo jumbo about fax machines that can send objects and people through a worm hole which just happens to place them in 1357 France and right at their dig site. So they decide to go through the machine to try and rescue the professor. They are immediately caught up in a chase with English soldiers who hold the fort and it's not long before they are locked away with the professor. They all carry markers which tell them how long they have to make the jump back to their own time (under 6 hours) and must escape the village of the English before they can all jump back, but things are never that straight forward.

    Based on the far superior Michael Crichton novel of the same name and Directed by Richard Donner (Lethal weapon) this movie is miscast, badly acted and poorly scripted. It had me interested up to the poorly explained transport sequence and then bored me rigid once our heroes arrived in medieval France. Why Paul Walker is used to helm a movie is beyond me and the casting of Billy Connelly as his father is a very poor choice. For a Sci-Fi movie to work you have to sell the rules and technology of the movie so a viewer accepts the reality and can then enjoy the story. The time travel method is poorly explained and makes no sense at all, it is described as a fax machine but with a fax you always have the original and send a copy, not so here. This movie is very poor and I just can't recommend you put yourself through two hours of this nonsense.

    The Rundown

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