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One Wrong Step...

  • Jan 25, 2008
  • by
I like "A Sound of Thunder." I can't pin down exactly why, but I do. Having no prior knowledge of the Ray Bradbury short story this is based on, I went into this film intrigued by the plot: Hunters from the future make a seemingly minor mistake in the past and turn evolution upside down. Sir Ben Kingsley plays Charles Hatton, an opportunistic man in the year 2055 who uses time travel as a way to promote "safari" hunts throughout time. The team that takes high paying customers on these hunts is headed up by Travis Ryer (Edward Burns), a well-meaning scientist who uses Hatton's money to further his own private research. When the group goes back on one particular hunt, a group member steps off of the designated path for a brief second and alters history forever. As time "waves" literally speed up evolution to make up for lost time, a bizarre array of plant life, animals, and temperature changes appear that turn normal life into chaos. The team members try to determine exactly who made the mistake and then how to go back in time to fix it. The only problem is that as each twenty-four hour period occurs since the original mistake was made, a new "wave" evolves everything, providing new dangers and new trials for the group.

The story feels like one of those old Saturday matinee cliffhangers from long ago. The hero of the tale, Ryer, always seems to be in danger, but never seems to be entirely done for. Something always reminds you that he's the hero and he'll make it out alive no matter what happens. Also, as people begin to die, the viewer knows that once Ryer "fixes" time, everthing will go back to normal. In short, this is a sci-fi horror that's really not that scary. It's more popcorn fluff than anything else.

Still, I can't deny how much I enjoyed this film. From the fake-looking CGI cities to the cheesy scene where Ryer and Jenny (Jemima Rooper) are obviously walking in front of a blue screen on a stationary tread of some sort, this movie relishes in its campness. While most of the actors and actresses play their roles straight, there's always a light air about the dark situation. This movie would almost make a decent cartoon series from the 80's. Also, as another reviewer pointed out, there's a definite "Land of the Lost" feel to everything.

With a decent cast and a throwback tale to the cliffhangers of classic cinema, I recommend "A Sound of Thunder" to anyone who enjoyed those old films. While I'm quite aware that this movie isn't that great, it is highly likeable in my opinion, and it deserves at least a rental from most sci-fi fans.

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More A Sound of Thunder reviews
review by . August 19, 2010
   I came across this gem a few days ago and was just going to put a quick tip, but I think it's God-awful enough for a review.      To start, I was shocked to find out this was not a "Sy-Fy" original after I looked it up. I came across it this weekend after plopping down at 11pm in a hotel room at Lake Tahoe and it was one of the few channels getting decent reception. Would I expect anymore when the villains are dinosaur apes and an evil time travel company …
review by . August 25, 2010
Time Waves and Monkey Lizards. Yes, you heard me correctly.
Director Peter Hyams is no rookie when it comes to bad films. He has made more than his fair share. The best that can be said is that he’s an average director capable of decent work. His films range from acceptable (Outland and 2010: The Year We Make Contact) to forgettable (The Star Chamber and Narrow Margin) and ocasionally regrettable (Timecop, Sudden Death, The Relic, End of Days). None of his past films, however, reach the level of cinematic atrocity that A Sound of Thunder manages to …
review by . April 18, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Ray Bradbury is a great American author and one of the people that popularized science fiction into the mainstream a half a century ago. His stories and novels are widely read and studied. His stories would make great motion pictures if they were ever given the right treatment. Unfortunately, other than the Disney adaptation of SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, none of his stories or novels has ever received the big screen treatment they deserve. One of Bradbury's most memorable and enduring short …
review by . March 30, 2006
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Ray Bradbury, run and hide! This tacky film version of his short story from the 1950s about time travel and the effect it might have on de-evolution is not well known from the theatrical run (did it have one?) and exists now as a DVD on the shelves released during a slow week.     What looks to be a fancy sci-fi thriller form the opening scenes quickly fools us as the computer generated graphics are re-run unaltered throughout a film that is supposed to be about different 'trips' …
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Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


A Sound of Thunder is a science fiction film released in 2005, and directed by Peter Hyams. The film was planned originally for a 2002 release. However, flooding in Prague (where the production was filmed) and other financial difficulties—- including the bankruptcy of the original production company during post-production[citation needed]—- resulted in a delayed release. A Sound of Thunder is based loosely upon the short story "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury. The film is about "time tourists" who accidentally interfere too much with the past and thus completely alter their present.

Contents []

[edit] Plot

According to the film, the established rules of time travel are:

  1. Don't change anything in the past.
  2. Don't leave anything behind.
  3. Don't bring anything back.

These protocols were established, in part, by businessman Charles Hatton (Ben Kingsley) who has recently developed a time tourism service called Time Safari. For an extraordinary price, Time Safari will take clients through a wormhole to a time in pre-history to hunt dinosaur game. Scientist Travis Ryer (Edward Burns) is the designated leader for these safari expeditions, along with several other guides. Only creatures that are doomed to perish—such as dinosaurs about to die in a volcanic eruption—are downed by safari patrons. ...

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Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: September 2, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: March 28, 2006
Runtime: 1hr 41min
Studio: Warner Home Video
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