Bows, arrows and Paul Walker

By Alan Cho

The 21st century is in dire need of a new action hero. The warhorses of the genre have either moved on to the greener pastures of politics or found themselves left in the glue factory that is direct-to-video. Who out there will teach these children the art of driving recklessly at questionable speeds or the proper etiquette in facing a horde of barbarians armed only with a whip? During these dark times it seem the man stepping up to the task is Paul Walker.

“I love walking down the street and to have like a 16, 17 year old kid be like, ‘Oh what up? You are in my favourite movie,’” muses Paul Walker over the telephone. “That feels really good. ‘I have seen Fast and the Furious seven times,’ I do not think I would ever get sick of that when it comes from like a genuine place. I remember how it was when I came out of the movie theaters when I was that age and being amped up on a movie and just to know that you know like I am there with some of these kids. My brother is 16 years old and all of his friends around that same age and they think I am the coolest thing in the world.”

No doubt he’ll continue to receive the adulation of pubescent boys as the star of such hits as Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast & 2 Furious diversifies his action repertoire with Richard Donner’s Timeline.

Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, it’s the story of a team of whip-less archaeologist on the most important expedition of their careers–the rescue of their professor who has disappeared into the 14th century. Now his students, including his son (Paul Walker), must go back and get him. During the rescue, sword fights and other medieval hijinx ensue. Though it may sound a little far-fetched, don’t expect this to be The Goonies crossed with Army of Darkness.

When asked about the nature of time travel in the film, Walker assures, “No I think they [audiences] will buy it. To be honest with you, like I do not really like Sci-Fi. And you know what, that plays a part in it because say without it, it would not be Michael Crichton. But I like to believe that Donner is kind of coming from the same standpoint. Like to me the story really starts singing when we get back to the past. It explains the time travel aspect without over explaining it and without over complicating it.”

Not that the audience wants to see philosophical discussion on the burden and paradoxes of time travel. No, this is a movie with swords, horses and people using 21st century science to defeat 14th century savages raised in barns. Hopefully Timeline will scratch that medieval itch for audiences today. Paul promises a spectacle, recalling his experience on set.

“Well, we are supposed to be in awe because we basically had just been transported here to this medieval world and we came from modern day, our jaws are supposed to be on the floor basically then they were because these are real structures,” he says. “The castle that you see in the movie it was built to scale. There really were hundreds of guys running around armor clad. You just react to what is going on around you. That is all it is. It is just an awesome sight.” Awesome indeed.

Timeline will be in theatres Nov. 28. Check local listings for details or stay at home and rent Army of Darkness.

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