A Sound Of Thunder

"Bad"

A Sound Of Thunder Review


The best thing that can be said for the embarrassing A Sound of Thunder is that at least it presupposes an audience whose belief in evolution is ironclad, sadly a minor triumph in these increasingly Scopes monkey trial-like times.

Adapted with sub-simian grace from the iconic Ray Bradbury story, the film puts us in the year 2055, where a Chicago firm called Time Safari takes wealthy, bored men back in time and hunt dinosaurs. The trick here is that Bradbury - prefiguring all the great time travel paradox stories and films to follow - realized one couldn't just do this without creating massive complications further down the time pipeline. So Time Safari has its hunters walk through the 65-million-year-old jungle on a pathway suspended above the ground, with the strict dictum not to touch anything, never step off the path and not to bring even the most microscopic thing back with them. And the dinosaur that they "hunt" (over and over again) has been selected for the fact that it's going to die anyway, bare seconds after the safari team shoots it. Thusly the time continuum remains unchanged and everybody's happy.

The problems arise when somebody steps off the path. After that, back in 2055 things seem a little... different, as whatever happened in the past has sent shock waves down 65 millions years of interlocking chains of evolution. What this means in practical terms is that if the crack team of time travelers don't fix their little glitch, they stand a good chance of being eaten by the ghastly beasts now running amok through the Loop, its cloud-stabbing skyscrapers shrouded in primeval foliage dozens of stories high.

To describe what's wrong with this perfectly serviceable pulp scenario requires only one word: everything. To begin with, director Peter Hyams has utilized some of the worst special effects seen in a major studio release in some years (the film has been shelved for a considerable time, but not that long). In scene after scene, the cast walks past or through laughably fake dioramas which try to invoke the future by including fleets of toy-like cars and fuzzy, cartoon buildings that surrounding a few recognizable Chicago landmarks. The past looks even worse - Spielberg can rest secure that all these years later, A Sound of Thunder is not going to be challenging Jurassic Park in the special-effects department. So without any ooh and aah to speak of, the audience is left to focus on (ack!) the story and characters.

Since every film these days apparently must have a creepy corporate villain, the forces of filthy lucre are represented here by Charles Hatton, a queeny CEO with a massive shock of alarmingly white hair underneath which we can see a joyfully overacting Ben Kingsley, about the closest thing to entertainment we can expect. Hatton's pursuit of obscene profits are naturally what causes this problem, so it's up to square-jawed scientists Edward Burns and Catherine McCormack to set things right. This involves much running about with flashlights while fighting off wild beasts with guns that shoot bolts of frozen nitrogen - not a exciting as it might sound. About the only moment of wit comes in one shot that pans across Burns' apartment and shows a Cubs pennant: "World Championship - 2022."

In his story, Bradbury describes time travel thusly: "There was a sound like a gigantic bonfire burning all of Time, all the years and all the parchment calendars, all the hours piled high and set aflame." In the film, Burns shouts, "Don't look at the light!" while subpar CGI effects rage around the time travelers. It's just not a fair fight.

Try not to hit your head on anything.



A Sound Of Thunder

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd September 2005

Box Office USA: $1.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $6M

Budget: $80M

Distributed by: Warner Bros.

Production compaines: Epsilon Motion Pictures, Franchise Pictures, Baldwin Entertainment Group, Dante Entertainment, Crusader Entertainment, ETIC Films, Forge, QI Quality International GmbH Co. KG, Signature Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 6%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 92

IMDB: 4.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Alicia Wallenbeck, as John Wallenbeck, as Payne, Wilfried Hochholdinger as Dr. Lucas, as Travis Ryer, as Jenny Krase, as Charles Hatton, August Zirner as Clay Derris, as Sonia Rand, Alvin Van Der Kuech as Young Technician, William Armstrong as Ted Eckles, as Christian Middleton, Andrew Blanchard as George the Doorman, Scott Bellefeville as Onlooker, Nikita Lespinasse as Newswoman on TV, Sai-Kit Yung as Chinese Man I, Ho Hon Chou as Chinese Man II, Anezka Novak as Elderly Woman, Antonin Hausknecht as Taxi Driver, John Hyams as Delivery Man

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.