December 08, 2003 12:00 PM


Paul Walker, Frances O’Connor, Gerard Butler

Based on a Michael Crichton novel, this time-travel story imagines a new technology that allows people to be broken down into subatomic bits and sent cross-country, fast as a fax. But something goes wrong in human trials: Subjects keep winding up in medieval France. An archeologist specializing in the era—he’s excavating a 1357 battle site—is sent back to solve the mystery, followed by his team. The point here is to jolt these modern minds with the shock of the old, but both past and present feel cheap and shopworn: The transporter is a circle of mirrored panels, like a dressing room for scientists, and in 1357 everyone spends a lot of time dodging British invaders by ducking into thatched huts. (PG-13)

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