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Overall Rating
2.5

Awesome: 8.33%
Worth A Look: 19.05%
Average: 25%
Pretty Bad: 9.52%
Total Crap38.1%

6 reviews, 48 user ratings


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Timeline
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by Jason Whyte

"'I SWEAR, we're in 1374 Castlegard, France!'"
1 stars

I don't know why I keep giving Richard Donner a chance. Every time the guy comes out with a new film, and that's rare these days, my eyes widen a bit and I think "Okay, the guy who made "Superman", "Maverick", "Goonies" and "Lethal Weapon 1 and 2"" is at it again! Sure, the guy has had a not-so-good film from time to time ("Conspiracy Theory," "Assassins" and "Lethal Weapon 4" immediately come to mind), but Donner has always had an accessible style and a good sense of humour in his films. That is, until his 2003 film which feels like a Donner cometh out of nowhere.

I only saw the theatrical teaser of this film prior to seeing it, which was just a few fleeting shots of 14th-century costumes, fireballs and several shots of Paul Walker jerking his head around with an "Oh dude, no!" look on his face. I was still slightly intrigued with Donner at the helm, and I could accept Paul Walker's just-being-there if everything else was up to snuff. Hey, I gave both "The Fast and the Furious" films positive grades, so there's proof right there.

Sadly, "Timeline" is empty and devoid of any real entertainment value. It's merely a bunch of archaeological students running around trying to save Paul Walker's daddy who has been somehow "faxed" into 14th-century France by way of a machine that has been recently designed to fax items from one place to another. Once the team of students and military are in, the clock is running (by way of a small clock pendant around their necks, of course, to keep tension going) to save him before the wormhole closes.

The movie plods along from action to running, a few moments for one of the professors to fall in love with a French dame (Anna Friel from "Me Without You"), more running, some more action, more running, all leading to a fictionalized Hundred Years War in France, with the British stationed inside the castle while the French are in infantry outside the castle, and about all this looks like is a bunch of people standing around reacting to fireballs and arrows hitting their targets. There's even a bit during the battle where someone on the inside of the castle detonates the British firepower, and nary a single Frenchman on the ground even reacts to it. I would have loved for a commander to turn around and say, "Did we do that?"

It's not just Paul Walker who is bad in this movie. Smaller, lesser-known actors like Frances O'Connor, Ethan Embry, David Thewlis and Matt Craven do embarrassing, one-note work, too. On the plus side, Gerard Butler, the likeable partner from the "Tomb Raider" sequel, shows promise for leading roles in the future, and Martin Csoaks, who I will always remember as the bad guy from "xXx" and the sleazy producer in "Garage Days", still keeps his bad guy charisma strong here.

I still am a fan of Richard Donner's work, but sorry, this movie is a clunker, all the more for the classic bad line I will remember from this movie. After the crew has been "faxed" over, Walker doesn't believe they're in the past. Surrounded by forest and a nearby river, Walker actually says, "For all I know, we're at my grandmother's house in Oregon!" To which the military commander replies: "I SWEAR, we're in 1374 Castlelgard, France!"

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8364&reviewer=350
originally posted: 12/01/03 05:00:08
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User Comments

11/01/12 Monday Morning I wanna go back too! But with a rifle! 4 stars
6/07/11 Silkworm Here we go again ANOTHER film about time travel 1 stars
6/26/09 KC It was awful but I still enjoyed it! Great with a few beers late at night. 3 stars
7/28/08 Vickie Johnson a little hard to follow,but very interesting!!! 5 stars
12/16/07 RLK Pretty Good Movie! I really enjoyed it 4 stars
6/25/07 Penny Loved it. It was great. Was a good action packed movie. 5 stars
4/16/07 Christop One of THE WORST MOVIES OF ALL TIME! 1 stars
11/20/06 jazz the movie was confusing yet we enjoyed it...at least i learned some french now...hehe 4 stars
7/29/06 kat it was awesome. i loved it!!!!! 5 stars
5/06/06 Ashley Hinz Enjoyable little time travel piece. 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk Goodish film 3 stars
1/16/06 Jeff Anderson A rare misstep for Richard Donner. Amazingly cheap-looking(for a big budget)& atrocious!!!! 1 stars
10/11/05 Dan Good movie! 4 stars
9/02/05 othree "I wish i could go back in time" & not have watched it, sucks, did Disney make this?! 1 stars
8/19/05 ES Rent it and regret it 1 stars
8/16/05 tatum Nice cast in instantly forgettable film 3 stars
5/03/05 Quigley what a crap-fest! lame battles, atrocious acting, boring sci-fi - must i continue? no way! 1 stars
1/04/05 Cyberdiver I wish i could go back in time, I'd be rich when I came back. ;) 5 stars
11/01/04 Charles S. Lewis though a work of FICTION, It's an excellent movie. I enjoyed it well enough to purchase it 5 stars
10/20/04 arwen Olena this movie was not the best movieever but i enjoyed the french aspect of it 4 stars
6/09/04 Preston Gaddis HORRIBLE 1 stars
5/06/04 Olli B. Good Movie 4 stars
4/17/04 American Slasher Goddess Pretty bad, it should have been much better then what it was. 2 stars
2/09/04 Tom Cruise C'mon people i saw this movie and it was a very good movie 5 stars
2/03/04 Eloise Truely awful. The worst film i have ever seen. 1 stars
1/31/04 Outside Food Girl Isaw it for $1.50, which gives it twoextra stars right there 4 stars
1/23/04 Jenny Tullwatrz Intriguing concept; battle scenes from 1357 too chaotic and confusing, though. 3 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Paul Walker should get a Razzie nomination for his amateurish work in this bad film. 1 stars
12/26/03 Uncle Salty Come on. Really. There are no more words. 1 stars
12/13/03 Donald Fox The war scene was great. The book was better. Actors' lines were too contrived. 4 stars
12/10/03 Desperado While this movie isnt great the book is awesome, just another Chrichton novel wasted 3 stars
12/08/03 Eloise lm i have ever seen, we walked out in disgust :( 1 stars
12/08/03 alex so french are the good guys? Or this movie is biased...Plus, didn't feel like past at all! 1 stars
12/08/03 Joe Plot holes that you could drive a truck through. Characters are lemmings. 1 stars
12/07/03 crazy it was a very good movie,good story too. 5 stars
12/02/03 Setesh Godgrik At leat all the main characters were in this one 2 stars
12/02/03 HangMikeMyersforFuckinguptheCat What did you people expect? Paul Walker's in it!!! 1 stars
12/01/03 wesley cox horrible 1 stars
11/30/03 Marcus Yes, one of the worst movies of the decade 1 stars
11/30/03 twhmmh too many characters, not enough development 3 stars
11/30/03 Xalt Interesting story, but it felt like a lot of details were left out. Read the book too. 3 stars
11/30/03 --- I'd rather be flogged to death by Hitler then watch this movie again 1 stars
11/29/03 Tess Houck Read the book! 3 stars
11/29/03 Jack the Dagger terrible paul walker sucks ass storyline sucks everything. waste of my time and money 1 stars
11/28/03 St Olaf Swimmer So sorry I wasted money on this movie 1 stars
11/27/03 ajay pace is so quick, they gloss over loads of details. Paul Walker is so bad it's funny. 3 stars
11/27/03 Herbert Primig a bit short on plot and charachterization to be sure but action that feels exiting and real 4 stars
11/27/03 Frank Lynch I want my $6 back 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Nov-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 13-Apr-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-Feb-2004




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