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A Sound of Thunder (2005)

A Sound of Thunder. Feature film. (2005, 100 mins) IMDB

...Will this time machine movie be any different from the rest?...


nother time machine movie. Haven't we seen enough of them? What is supposed to be different about this one? It turns out nothing? It's the same saw. You can go back in time, but in doing so disrupting even the tiniest thing will have evolutionary repercussions on the future and that's what this film deals with.

Our team, led by Edwards, goes back in time with no problems, but when they do it again, something isn't right. The present world is changing in massive time waves. They realize they have to go back fix to their mistake but each time wave means more changes in the present which makes it nearly impossible to fix, but of course they do. And everyone lives happily ever after. Ta-dah. And boring.

As I watched this film, I wondered why Edward Burns got involved in this film. Was he becoming like Ben Affleck? Doing films for the money? Maybe.

The film is loaded with special effects especially of the CGI variety and it looks like it. I thought I was watching a cheap TV show. Some times special effects work but a great deal of the time, they look just like what they are: special effects. Maybe it's because the story is so thin the poor fx stand out, I'm not sure, but they looked cheesy even if twenty years ago they would have been state-of-the-art.

And why was Ben Kingsley in this film? See above I suppose. It seems this film was made in the UK and therefore all the UK talent except for the US lead.

This time machine story takes place in the future, around 2055 in a futuristic looking Chicago. Time Travel is the norm but expensive and government controlled. The problem starts when one of the guest travellers steps on a butterfly and kills it. It takes a while for the team to figure out exactly what went wrong, but that was it. It seems to me there's a eco-story about one butterfly dying and the ripple effect it has on the eco-system except in this tale it happens over a 65 million year time frame.

Since the changes have a ripple effect throughout, it means an impact on the evolution of humans, but that would effect the story of the movie. Can't have that. Must have same humans living to fix the problem. The solution. Time waves. The changes don't happen in once burst, but in several. The graphic is a giant wave washing over Chicago as if Lake Michigan could create a massive tsunami. With the first wave, plants grow as if it's the Amazon. In the next wave, more plant life but new, fierce creatures and so on until the entire city is living in anarchy.

None of the technology is explained. That's okay provided it makes sense, but time waves?!? Oh well.

In an early scene, Burns is sitting at a computer when his boss (Kingsley) commands him to attend a party. During the scene we hear the alert, sharp dialogue from Burns's mouth. It doesn't happen again. I suspect that scene was shot early in production when he may have had hopes for the film, but later realized it was hopeless and mailed in the rest of his performance. It wouldn't surprise me.

Watch this movie if you must, but there isn't one redeeming feature in it.

Posted 2009/02/09 at 20h00ET in Movie Commentary.


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