Preview. 4* Exciting action overtakes predictable plot, more sad than fun so lower despite my Gerard crush. Archaelogist Andre Marek (Gerard Butler) recognizes unusual sarcophagus from 1400s France, wherein a knight with a lopped ear clasps the hand of his lady beside for all time. Professor Johnston (Billy Connelly), father of Chris (Paul Mark), is lost in 1437 April 4, the night the French conquer La Roque castle and neighboring Castlegard village, provoked by the death of Lady Claire. Students convince Francois (Rossif Sutherland) to join, because he is the only competent French speaker.
But English invaders demand he translate "je suis un espoin", kill the "interpreter" for "confessing" and three Marines sent as backup. One Marine, dying, presses his return control "marker". His forbidden grenade explodes the experimental equipment in the present.
From first landing into rushing river, the dwindling members run, hide, escape, battle, and pause for guilt at deaths, but no thought to lost descendants. Casual sword slices and arrow strikes, massive trebuchet catapult, flaming bombs smash stone walls. Realistic re-enactments are way better than phony computer effects.
Marek repeatedly saves delicate-looking tough-fighting Lady Claire (Anna Friel), sister of French leader Arnaud (Lambert Wilson), defying history, of course getting his ear chopped. Chris and his brave sweetheart Kate (Frances O'Connor) lead French through the secret underground tunnel from the monastery so the French still win the day.
Based on Michael Crichton book I now want to read. Online excerpt.
Villains die in both times. Damaged equipment is repaired in the last minutes of the six-hour window allowed. In present-day, sarcophagus inscription describes happy life of Andre, Claire, and three children, one named after Francois.