Saw this on 19/6/14
Timeline is an adaptation from the famous novel of the same name from Michael Crichton. It is directed by the director of Lethal Weapon series and Superman movies. How could this movie be so bad then? not to mention the A-list cast. The only good thing about this movie is the special effects that it has in the second half, mostly towards the last 40 minutes and a good ending, which obviously had to be credited to the author of the books. Timeline is an above average watch which can be forgotten after viewing it once. It's execution is at times, especially in the first half clumsy and cheesy and the entire first half has the look of a cheap B movie. The acting from some part of the cast is good or at least watchable, but there are others like Billy Connolly and Frances O'Connor who simply does awful work. Every time Fances O'Connor utters a word I feel like slapping her to death, her acting was such awful and more awful were her overblown makeups. Gerard Butler is good as Merek and Anna Friel is also satisfactory. Paul Walker has nothing much to do in the film other than showing a smiling face which is largely due to the fact that his character is not the main one in the novel which leaves some emptiness there. The film lacks the emotional resonance of the book, but since the story is adapted from the book, it has some good twists. A better treatment would have ensured a more watchable film. The massive failure of the film seemed to have halted the career of Richard Donner as a director.
L'idea è carina, ma in certi punti la sceneggiatura manca di qualcosa. Peccato.
If this film had a decent budget or script or ANYTHING...it might have been a fun little flick.
Honestly, I didn't expect a work of genius here, but I had hoped that I would have some fun with this one. It had a crazy-weird plot about time-traveling scientists who go back to medieval Europe. Fun right? Dumb, but fun! Unfortunately I was wrong.
Timeline featured a cast of then newcomers such as Paul Walker and Gerard Butler. They were definitely not in top form here. There may have been something salvageable in this mess if they would've brought some levity to the occasion, but unfortunately, they allowed the wooden dialogue to swallow them up. That brings me to the writer. First-time scripter as George Nolfi may have been, I wish he had brought a more playful tone to this very stupid sci-fi plot. When the audience was given the huge time-traveling-to-medieval-times-via-a-round-ball-of-mirrors pill to swallow, someone should have had the courtesy to give them a little comedy water to help it go down better instead of playing their literally unbelievable exposition completely straight. Also, despite bumping into "historical" figures and time-traveling and all that, once the main "heroes" found the professor they were looking for in the past, they weren't given anything interesting to do at all. Somehow, this time-traveling, medieval, epic yarn was eliciting yawns from me. Boo! Bad form!
Way, way back in history...in 2004 when this movie was made, notable filmmaker Richard Donner (the original Superman and The Goonies) decided to use little-to-no cgi to tell his Timeline tale. Artistic integrity! Unfortunately, that meant we were stuck looking at small, antiquated "castles" and hastily-built, Hollywood "medieval villages" that were incapable of denoting any sense of scale or epic-ness. It really looked like the filmmakers were essentially filming some medieval reenactments or slightly up-scaled larping meetings (not far from the truth). Also, the very historically accurate garments worn by the various denizens of times past look very much like cheap costumes of the Once Upon a Time variety. There was no sense of a lived-in, greasy, medieval environment at all.
Ultimately, a likable cast may have helped this one, but I think that at the time this film was shot, these actors were incapable of being likable or, you know, having charisma. Alas, they were the last nail in the coffin to an already boring script being realized by an aging director with boring ideas of how to make an action, sci-fi flick. How great would it have been if he approached this more like Superman or Goonies...or even Lethal Weapon!