A competent cast keeps this eccentric time travel movie (based on a Michael Crichton novel) amusing if far from successful. Under the command of an unethical technology corporation, a group of archeologists (Paul Walker, Gerard Butler and Frances O’Connor) travel back in time to 1357 France, during a fierce battle, to rescue Chris’s (Walker) history professor stepfather Edward Johnston (Billy Connolly). Director Richard Donner (“The Omen,” “Conspiracy Theory”) gives no surprises in a movie that should be full of suspense and sudden shocks. “Timeline” is a glorified chase film that dabbles in history, emotion, and science fiction but misses out in each category.
Rated PG-13. 116 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)