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TIMELINE

Director Richard Donner, who rose to notoriety with the Lethal Weapon franchise, takes yet another connect-the-dots Michael Crichton novel and blows it up into a joyless experience. As with all Crichton weaves (Jurassic Park, Sphere), the plot is wrapped around some pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo that makes more sense the less you think about it. Here the bogus concept is a wormhole, or puncture in time, that a high-tech corporation run by a nefarious Bill Gates clone wants to exploit for profit. This ill-explained chronological anomaly is locked onto a mid-14th-century site where a French fortress is under siege by the English. An archæologist (Billy Connolly) gets marooned there, and the company sends a second crew of dirt sifters back to rescue him. Reduced to four bland survivors (Paul Walker, Connolly, Frances OíConnor, and Gerard Butler, whoís the only one to rise above the insipid material), the team fire crossbows, cross swords, and rewrite history. Itís a dull spectacle that makes a drive out to Carver for King Richardís Faire seem more appealing. (116 minutes) At the Boston Common, the Fenway, the Fresh Pond, and the Circle and in the suburbs.


Issue Date: November 28 - December 4, 2003
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