Timeline is a 2003 film based on Michael Crichton’s 1999 novel of the same name. This big budget film was a box office failure. It has the honour of having a Rotten Tomatoes rating of only 11%.
In my search for truly bad films, this could well be one of the worst. My fascination with cinematic turkeys is figuring out the process that lead to them being so bad. No one sets out to create a turkey. Usually, it’s a perfect combination of a number of things.
Sometimes, a film flops because the script is terrible. Or becasue it doesn’t find an audience. Maybe it’s misunderstood or it’s ahead of its time. Or the film cashes in on a formulae that was created a decade, and now seems stale.
With Timeline, there’s so much that’s wrong. It starts with the script — the plot and dialogue. The whole thing feels laboured. What should have been an intriguing and mysterious opening is skipped over. It could have created atmosphere and been used to explore the characters. Instead, in a desperate rush to get to the action, we have a sub-Stargate time portal and various action scenes shoehorned into a plot. But, without the satisfying setup it all seems pointless.