At least one can be thankful for a movie like Timeline that hires Billy Connolly to play Paul Walker's father, but stops itself short of then asking Walker to do a Scottish accent; it's all the poor guy can do to emote anything besides a grinning, sun-blanched California geniality. In many other ways, the filmmakers have littered the screen with ideas that go from bad to worse, quite often taking lengthy detours into sheer laughability along the way. This was likely supposed to be a big summer-style actioner, with all the time travel and battling knights that the post-Dungeons and Dragons multiplex crowd could ever want, but it came out like a plus-size episode of Sliders.

The story is typical Michael Critchon hooey, only shorn of all the techno-speak which his books use to cloud the sheer implausibility of their central conceits. An archaeological group on a dig in France finds a couple of interesting artifacts: one is a modern-day bifocal lens, the other a note from the dig's leader, Prof. Ed Johnston (Connolly), which is in his handwriting but dates from the 14th century. Just as this is discovered, the gang (mostly young attractive archaeologists and Walker, who was just there visiting his dad) is all summoned back to the desert headquarters of ITC, the big firm that's funding their dig. There, ITC's boss (David Thewlis, long MIA from Hollywood films) says that they've discovered how to send people back in time through a freakily-discovered wormhole to a spot in France circa 1357, and oh yeah, that they sent Johnston back there a couple days ago, he hasn't returned and they're starting to get worried about him. You see, that particular part of the world was at that time embroiled in a battle between the French and the English, meaning that there were lots of angry men on horses riding about looking for people to practice one-sided swordplay on.

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