A SOUND OF THUNDER - 2005
Franchise Pictures / Crusader Entertainment LLC / ApolloMedia /
Baldwin Entertainment Group / Dante Entertainment / ETIC Limited
/ Forge / QI Quality International GmbH & Co. KG
Rating: USA: PG-13
I just saw A SOUND OF THUNDER in a theatre. What's that you say? You never heard of it? Me neither until
Feo asked me to review it. Most people would consider it a bad sign that
a studio has spent essentially no money on advertising but you never know.
It was under almost these exact circumstances that I ended up seeing EQUILIBRIUM in the theatre and that was a great movie. Will lightning strike twice?
A SOUND OF THUNDER was directed by Peter Hyams (CAPRICORN
ONE, OUTLAND, THE RELIC, END
OF DAYS) and written by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer
and Gregory Poirier (GOSSIP and a variety of adult films). The movie is based on a short story by Ray Bradbury (IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, SOMETHING WICKED THIS
WAY COMES, THE HALLOWEEN TREE).
Text on the screen tells us that it's the year 2055 and that Charles Hatton (Ben
SUSPECT ZERO, SEXY BEAST) is using the most amazing and dangerous technology ever discovered to make money. In other
words in the first couple of seconds of the movie you know the bad guy
is going to be a formula evil corporation / billionaire. Not good.
The technology is time travel. Hatton runs Time Safari, Inc. They take rich people 65
million years back in time to hunt dinosaurs. I'm sure you could think
of lots of other ways to make money from time travel (involving much shorter jumps and lottery numbers) but whatever. The movie opens with just such an expedition. The hunters and their guides walk on "The Path", a walkway made of light and created by the time travel machine. This keeps them from physically touching anything in the late Cretaceous Era, something they carefully avoid for fear of changing history.
But doesn't shooting a T-Rex change history? You'd think so, but they actually choose
a dinosaur that is moments away from death anyway due to a nearby volcanic eruption.
The hunt goes well but the after party is interrupted by an angry woman who sprays
blood on everyone before security drags her out. No, she's not one of those annoying PETA hypocrites. She's Sonia Rand (Catherine McCormack: THE TAILOR OF PANAMA, SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE), the uncredited
inventor of the time travel machine. She is pursued by Time Safari chief
scientist Travis Ryer (Edward Burns: SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) who wants to know what the problem is. Sonia tells him she's
certain that the greedy Mr. Hatton is being reckless with her invention
and will eventually change history in some disastrous way.
Nonsense says Travis. There's a new government agency specifically to regulate
time travel. A bureaucrat from said agency is always there for every mission, making sure everything is okay.
Sonia doesn't take that reassurance very well and Travis begins having doubts. But they
press on with the next dino hunting mission where, of course, something goes wrong.
Sounds pretty cool so far, right? Under the right circumstances it certainly could have
been. But in this case dear Jesus in Heaven did it SUCK! Bad acting, truly bad special effects and really, truly boring stretches made sitting through this movie a genuine ordeal. If I had to choose between seeing
this dog again and unanesthetized dental surgery... ok, I'd watch the
movie because the dental thing would really hurt, but I'd have to think about it. Damn, it was bad.
Which leads me to a
!!!BAD SCIENCE MOMENT!!!: I could write a book about everything this movie got wrong. It's almost an anti-science lesson. Virtually every time a character opens their mouth and says something even remotely scientific it's not just wrong - it's
way wrong. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is completely misstated,
the many mentions of evolution don't even come close and their descriptions
of the rules of time travel within the movie are contradictory.
A few examples:
Go to SCIENCE
MOMENT / A Sound Of Thunder
There are lots of other annoyances besides the science. The movie makers were clearly
in love with their cgi futuristic cityscape and way over used it in bad
green screen scenes. I could go one but I think you get the idea. A
SOUND OF THUNDER is an embarrassment to Ray Bradbury's fine name. I give it one shriek girl.
copyright 2005 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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