April 20, 2004

Timeline (Review)

Don’t waste your time.

I hesitate to spend too much of my own time reviewing this mess of a film, but I will press on, at least briefly, as a warning to the rest of you.

The film is dead boring. And when there is any action at all, it is predictable.

You can tell the film is based on a book (Michael Crichton) because it plods like a book. You have the urge to skim at a number of points, but, alas, you can’t. (I had people watching with me, and I didn’t want to be rude. Though they might not have objected, had I asked).

The premise, if you must know, is that a scientist has gone back in time through a wormhole and is trapped in the past. His son and some other archaeologists are enlisted to go back and save the fellow. Sure, it could be exciting. But there is altogether too much talking involved with going back in time. Apparently, for the process to work, you must be lulled into a boredom-induced stupor.

The ratings board gave the film a PG-13 for “violence and brief language.” We (Julie, Maggie and I) were incredulous that the language could have been considered brief, and we were looking forward to some violence which might break up the endless scenes of people telling each other stuff you would have normally read in the book.

In the end, there is a scene that is apparently supposed to have some serious significance, but the poor direction leaves you wondering what the heck is going on. But it’s not so much the direction that is to blame. The screenplay is just horrific.

OK - I’ve wasted enough time trashing Timeline. Skip it. Really. If you must see it, get someone else to pay for the rental and make sure you either have a lot of caffeine on hand or a ready escape route. Or, bring a book.

Posted by James at April 20, 2004 3:23 PM
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I enjoyed the heckling, although it was a lot more fun to heckle Star Trek X: Nemesis.

Timeline is also a horrible waste of Billy Connolly. I kept hoping he'd crack a joke just to break up the mood, but no such luck.

Posted by: julie at April 20, 2004 3:49 PM

Sometimes you see a film and you feel so gyped that you want to see another film right away to take away the sour feeling of dissatisfaction. (dare I say "vasocongestion") Sadly, it was so late I think I would have passed out if we'd put on another film. What was it, 2AM?

I should have made some coffee.

Posted by: James at April 20, 2004 3:54 PM

It was at least 2. Just the kind of thing you'd want to see if you need help getting to sleep. Unfortunately I still had to drive home. :-P

Posted by: julie at April 21, 2004 10:03 AM

I still think it could have been much improved by the appearance of Jeff Goldblum, even if he babbled on about chaos theory. Or a dinosaur or two. It seemed to me that every other character was Ellie from Jurassic park (excited about science! interrupting when she speaks! arguing, never listening, doing whatever she wants!). Boring and real is okay, but boring and science fiction, in which the made-up rules are obvious plot devices, is deadly. But, you're right Julie, the heckling was a lot of fun until there wasn't much left to heckle because it was *all the same*!!


Posted by: Maggie at April 21, 2004 1:15 PM

Lord preserve us, there is another Jurassic Park on the way.


Posted by: James at April 21, 2004 2:02 PM

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