"Heavy on the Fiction, Light on the Science"
What You Need To Know:
Based on a short story by Ray Bradbury, A SOUND OF THUNDER is an unmitigated mess. The special effects are cheesy and unrealistic, and the screenplay must have given Bradbury a monster-sized headache. A stroll down the street seems to be performed on a treadmill in front of a blue screen. Much caution is advised because of some implied sexual situations, monster violence and an unquestioning acceptance of humanist evolution theories.
(HH, EvEv, LL, V, S, N) Strong humanist, evolutionary worldview; 10 profanities; humans devoured by monsters, and suicide by gunshot; implied fornication; implied female nudity (naked arms and legs) and upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, greed.
In A SOUND OF THUNDER, it is the year 2055, and technological developments have made time travel a reality. Time Safari is an enterprising new company headed by Charles Hatton (Ben Kingsley), who has made the most of the new technology by sending humans back to participate in prehistoric dinosaur hunting trips, all at a very nifty profit for Hatton. The safaris are taking place on a regular basis without a glitch, and the company is prospering until something goes terribly amiss on one of these “jumps.”
A seemingly small change in one safari sets into motion a sequence of evolutionary changes that dramatically affects present day, and threatens the survival of civilization as we know it. The senior scientist and safari leader is Dr. Travis Ryer (Edward Burns), who has to find out what triggered the disruption and how to undo it. Dr. Ryer and his loyal assistants begin a race against time through a rapidly evolving, hellish environment fraught with mortal danger at every turn.
Initially set for release in 2003, THUNDER finally made it to the big screen, but it may have been better for it to suffer a quiet demise in the editing room. It’s an unmitigated mess, and one can only guess what got reputable actor Ben Kingsley to get involved in such a poorly executed flop. The special effects are cheesy and unrealistic, and the screenplay must have given writer Ray Bradbury a monster-sized headache. A stroll down the street seems to be performed on a treadmill in front of a blue screen.
Much caution is advised because of some implied sexual situations, monster violence and an unquestioning acceptance of evolutionary theory. Not even similarities to JURASSIC PARK and THE MUMMY in some of the action scenes can do enough to redeem this movie from its unavoidable destiny to the B movie bin of history. Then again, B movies can be fun if not taken seriously, especially when no effort is made to make sense of the senseless. Unfortunately, this failure takes itself far too seriously to enjoy.