Friday, September 15, 2006

"Timeline" review

Timeline (2003)

Directed by Richard Donner
Writing credits Jeff Maguire

Paul Walker .... Chris Johnston
Frances O'Connor .... Kate Ericson
Gerard Butler .... André Marek
Billy Connolly .... Prof. E.A. Johnston
David Thewlis .... Robert Doniger

You ever get that sinking feeling? That "not so fresh" feeling? You know, that feeling that washes over you about halfway through a mediocre movie? That feeling of unnamable dread that tells you nothing interesting is going to happen for the rest of the flick? That the movie has peaked in the first twenty minutes? I hate that feeling. That is what you will feel if you go see "Timeline".

A professor gets stuck back in time. His students hop in a hall of mirrors time machine to go and get him. They land in the middle of a war between the English and the French. Knight's attack, catapults catapult, and arrows fly through the air. Adventure, excitement etc.

The big question with "Timeline" is this: Why? Why was this movie made? What was the point? The time travel angle is completely meaningless. The filmmakers don't do one interesting thing with it. The time travel effects were non-existent as well. Couldn't they have at least shown some vague interest in visualizing what would happen to a human body if you "faxed" it through a wormhole? No, that would have required imagination. "Timeline" will have none of that.

I would go 2 out of 4 on this one. The good news is that there is a large battle scene at the end which saves the movie. As a medieval battle movie, it's decent. But as a time travel adventure, it's pointless. It had no interesting ideas at all.

I mean, couldn't a knight have picked up a medallion and been zapped into the future? Couldn't the students have brought an Uzi with them to slay many knights? Anything? Hello? Yes? No? Does anybody care?

SCORE: 2 out of 4 time traveling for dummies


Anonymous said...

The book was very interesting and I was really excited to see the movie but in typical hollywood fashion they butchered the story.I think they dhould have changed the title of the movie to: "Chris!!, your alive!!?!!?!!" Becaude I think that is the only thing the professor ever said.

Chris - " Holy crap, their are a bunch of knights after us!"

Marek - "Yeah, maybe we should get out of here."

Professor - "Chris!!, your alive!!?!!?!!"

Marek - "I'm tired, maybe we should rest."

Chris - "Sounds like a good idea."

Professor - "Chris!!, your alive!!?!!?!!"
Fucking annoying, read the book it is much better.

Dr. Gore ( said...

I haven't read the book although I also wanted to see the movie because of Michael Crichton. The book has to be more interesting than this movie. There had to be something there to inspire the filmmakers. Unfortunately it didn't inspire them enough to make a good movie.

MJ said...

The book is awesome. A really good read with some exciting quantum theory behind it. Crichton builds the story slowly so the characters and plot has time to develop.

The movie introduces characters who simply don't exist in the book. Francois the French interpreter for example. Of course, in the book they didn't need him because they didn't speak French in English owned 14th century France.

Paul Walker is a crap actor. In fact the whole cast is appalling. Andre Marek in the book is a huge strapping Dutchman, not a wimpy Scot. Whoever heard of a Scot called Andre Marek? Utter nonsense.

One of my favourite books of all time, and my most eagerly awaited movie ever, and it turns out to be utter crap. It didn't need the crappy screenplay. It just needed to follow the book.