Timeline review

There are pained faces when Timeline's gang of heroes, led by history buff Gerard Butler and archaeology student Paul Walker, leap from the present to the 14th century. It's a look of agony audiences will know only too well: Richard Donner's leaden time-hopping saga is sure to make them wish they could reclaim a couple of hours themselves.

Again leaking from the pen of science-gone-wrong doodler Michael Crichton, it sees a vacant Walker travel back in time to save his century-skipping father (Billy Connolly) from a huge battle. And that's all you need to know. Well, apart from the fact that it's a spiritless botch full of ungainly dialogue and chaotically dull sword-fighting.

Still, Butler is undeniably charismatic - his awakening to chivalry is the only spark of life - and there are some spine-icing shots of catapults sending fireballs whizzing through the night sky. But note to filmmakers: one charming Scotsman and a few flaming projectiles do not an action-adventure make.


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