There is silly, and then there is stupid beyond any realm of comprehension. When the screenwriters involved with adapting the Ray Bradbury short story "A Sound of Thunder" sat down to come up with a feature length film, they apparently were on crack cocaine. When Warner Brothers executives sat down to decide whether to finance such a film, they apparently never read the screenplay. And when director Peter Hyams, who has directed his fair share of decent-but-not-great action movies, signed on to the film, he apparently thought that no one would notice.
I don't really blame the actors in the film. After all, the concept is intriguing, and probably on paper they assumed that someone would figure out how to fix the plot holes. The movie focuses on a company that, for a large fee, transports rich people back in time to kill dinosaurs. The rules are strict, though - they can only kill creatures who are about to die, as doing anything else would affect the future. In fact, they only kill the same dinosaur over and over again.
However, when one of their clients accidentally steps on a butterfly, the event affects the future. In waves, modern day starts rewriting itself and half reptilian, half mammalian monsters start taking over. The scientists have to literally race against time to save humanity from extinction.
"A Sound of Thunder" sounded cool when I first heard about it, but in reality it is one of the dumbest movies ever. It is so without reason that it is impossible to take seriously. No matter how hard you try to treat it as a mindless action movie, you can't help but criticize it for its plot holes.
For one, if the team keeps returning to the same moment in time to kill the same dinosaur, wouldn't they run into themselves? Second, if they were to do something in the past that would affect the future, wouldn't the change be instantaneous? If the change was big enough to wipe out humanity, then they would be gone instantaneously - of course, then there would have been no humans to travel back in time in the first place to fuck things up. The time waves that the characters see in modern day are just silly - why would they remember the change?
On top of the logic holes, the special effects are downright laughable - they are bad enough to be on the Sci-Fi Channel. There are certain segments where you can tell most of the money went, and the rest of the movie just looks so bad it is impossible to take seriously (if I have to say that twice in the same review about different things, you know that's bad). For instance, there is a scene where Ed Burns is walking down a city street, and no one even bothered to make it look like he wasn't in front of a green screen.
This movie also marks another embarrassing disaster for Sir Ben Kingsley.
"A Sound of Thunder" sat on the shelf for years before finally being released in theaters last fall. Warner Brothers should have been smart and cut its losses - sometimes pride has to outweigh profitability.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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