The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

A Sound Of Thunder

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Judy Thorburn

Jurassic Park Meets The Butterfly Effect in "A Sound Of Thunder"

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

JURASSIC PARK MEETS THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT IN "A SOUND OF
THUNDER"

It never looks good when a movie studio doesn’t care to spend money on a promotional/advertising campaign for one of their upcoming releases. Filmed in 2002, the release date was obviously delayed, I read, due to production problems and financial woes. Translated, that usually means the film is a dud.  After seeing A Sound of Thunder, I won’t go so far as to say it’s awful (like The Cave, for instance), but it is a disappointment, a mediocre film at best.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, A Sound Of Thunder, Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, Ben Kingsley, Jemima Rooper, David Oyelowo, Peter Hyams, Ray Bradbury, Gregory Poinier

The movie, adapted from a story by master science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, is rooted in an interesting concept, but unfortunately, the problem is in its weak execution. Mind you, I am trying to forget that one of my favorite actors, Ben Kingsley, is utilized in a role that makes him look like a buffoon, never mind a clichéd, greedy businessman.  What a waste of fine talent.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, A Sound Of Thunder, Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, Ben Kingsley, Jemima Rooper, David Oyelowo, Peter Hyams, Ray Bradbury, Gregory Poinier

Nevertheless, besides Kingsley, the always-intriguing subject of time travel was enough to initially pique my interest. The setting is Chicago, fifty years in the future. Time Safari, a company owned by David Hatton (Ben Kingsley in a white pompadour wig) has taken the time travel technology developed by Sonia Rand (Catherine McCormack), against her warnings of “messing with the past”, and turned it into a big business. For a high price, rich thrill seeking game hunters, led by Dr. Travis Ryer (Ed Burns) and his team, can travel back in time some 65 million years to kill a dinosaur. Ryer, believing everything about the time jumps has been taken into account making it bullet proof, has set up rules such as never stray from the water path, don’t change anything, don’t leave anything, and don’t bring anything back, which are to be strictly implemented. But, when a client accidentally steps on a butterfly and kills it, the act causes a devastating ripple effect on weather conditions and evolution, threatening the future of mankind’s existence, as we know it. In order to stop the waves of change continually bombarding the planet, Travis with the help of Sonia, must make an attempt to go back, make things right, and find proof so that it doesn’t happen again. But, it is literally a race against time as strangely evolved creatures that look like a mix of baboon, bat, and dinosaur appear everywhere, quickly taking over, and killing everyone in their path.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, A Sound Of Thunder, Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, Ben Kingsley, Jemima Rooper, David Oyelowo, Peter Hyams, Ray Bradbury, Gregory Poinier

Like I said, the basic concept is good.  But, like so many other faulty sci fi movies it strays and becomes another man vs. monster thriller, with logic going by the wayside, focusing more on eluding or fighting off the horrid creatures.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, A Sound Of Thunder, Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, Ben Kingsley, Jemima Rooper, David Oyelowo, Peter Hyams, Ray Bradbury, Gregory Poinier

Technical problems which needed to be rectified, but weren’t, are evident.   The CGI affects seem as if they weren’t fine tuned in time for release, and at times look especially cheesy. For example, in city street scenes it looks like actors are walking on a treadmill, and not in sync with the movement of the background. It’s too obvious that they were in front of a blue screen before CGI was added. The current of time waves engulfing the environment are well done, but the monstrous underwater dragon eel wasn’t believable. Also, plotholes, paradoxes, and scientific flaws run through the storyline.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, A Sound Of Thunder, Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, Ben Kingsley, Jemima Rooper, David Oyelowo, Peter Hyams, Ray Bradbury, Gregory Poinier

Considering everything I just mentioned, you might wonder why I don’t slam it as a bomb? Because, with all the guffaws and problems, I still was somehow half heartedly entertained by what director Peter Hyams tried to accomplish with a problematic script and less than special, special effects.  I was reminded of those old B movies, which had a strange appeal, often as bad or goofy as they were. I thought most of the cast of ASOT (excluding, Kingsley, I am sorry to say) tried their serious best to make it work.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, A Sound Of Thunder, Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, Ben Kingsley, Jemima Rooper, David Oyelowo, Peter Hyams, Ray Bradbury, Gregory Poinier

As a cautionary tale about messing with the natural order of things, this sci fi thriller still manages to make a point. I take it that A Sound of Thunder is a warning that a ”downfall” is imminent if you fool around with something you shouldn’t. That message came through loud and clear. Unfortunately, I have a feeling mostly negative word of mouth will also be loud and clear, creating the kind of “thunderous” ripple effect that warns audiences to stay away.