Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers abound in this here review as it is more a deconstruction than a review. I invite anyone to chime in and help a guy out here.
We have certain requirements of our Science Fiction. We all know there is no such thing as a Jedi Knight, but for us to buy into their non-existence, there are certain elements of their fantasy world that much coincide with ours. Even though itís a fantasy, people should still act and react a certain way, certain protocols should be followed, and certain laws should be acknowledged.
Warner Brothers A Sound of Thunder pretty much says Ďscrew all that noiseí. So it goes like this: Time travel has become a reality in the year 2053. But itís all under the control of one man, Charles Hatton (academy award winner Sir Ben Kinglsey). He uses this amazing power to launch his company Time Safari, where he takes folks back in time to hunt dinosaurs. Actually, they donít hunt. The super computer has calculated a moment in time where this T-Rex appears just minutes before a volcano wipes out everything in the area. Since the T-rex is gonna die anyway, nothing in our extremely volatile and sensitive evolution is going to be messed with. In theory at least. The government isnít to concerned with this as these time jumps are loosely monitored by a smarmy bureaucrat who is more concerned with retirement than making sure human history isnít destroyed.
when you make this time jump, you're on this 2 foot
wide platform with about 8 other people. A T-Rex is
coming to eat you, but our tour guide (Edward Burns)
warns us not to step off the platform or you may kill
something and ultimately destroy us all.
Yeah, thereís a T-rex coming, but itís all under control. Somehow someone eventually is going to step off the platform. When that eventuality happens, evolution is irrevocably changed, and our heroes must rush to set things right. Before itís to late!!!
Other than the fact this flick has some of the worst green screening CGI Iíve ever seen, I mean 6 oíclock local weather bad, there are many many problems here. Letís start with we would consider protocol in the real world. Now I know our government is down with big business and all, but even the most pro business minded Republican controlled senate would probably think that going back in time and killing stuff is a fairly bad idea. Arlen Spector, who Iím positive will still be alive in 2053 wouldnít even vote for that one.
One of the things thatís made clear to us, is that it is critical that in case some one does step off the 2 foot platform that they bring nothing back with them. To insure this happens, they have installed a bio filter that cleans off all extemporaneous biological matter. But Billionaire Charles Hatton has turned if off. Why? Because it USES TOO MUCH ELECTRICTY! I know energy bills are high, but jeez... See a nice prehistoric plant? Bring it on back. See a baby raptor? Bring it on back!
The supersonic weight calculator, which apparently doesnít use too much electricity, has determined that the group weighed .2 ounces more when they returned than when they left. Our heroes must now find out what happened and are going to track down our last two surf safari customers. Why? Because their time travel space suits probably have the offensive bio matter stuck to them. Why donít they just run into the company closet and grab the suits the clients used? Because this cheap ass company doesnít provide time travel space suits for you of course, you must go down to Old Navy and buy your own.
Sure enough, some dude has a dead butterfly stuck to his shoe. I should mention that all of reality has changed. Plants grow everywhere, there are hordes of man-eating bullet proof Gibbon fused cheetahs along with pterodactyl bats and Lochness dragons making life miserable for humans. Even though the timeline has been irreparably altered, all of our buildings and structures still stand, GM still found a way to make cars, and hard drives still conveniently exist. This is convenient because apparently in the future you can take this hard drive and stick it in just about anything to make a time machine. But if you do change reality then there would be no time machine, right? Thus nothing would happen and everything would be back to normal. Hmmm. Obviously Iím no Stephen Hawking and that D- I pulled in Quantum Physics is starting to show itself.
But hereís the biggest problem. Time Safari kills this particular T-Rex because a volcano wipes out the entire area, thus it was gonna die in a few seconds anyway. So killing this butterfly, which apparently is responsible for a boatload of evolutionary mitosis, wouldnít change a damn thing because the volcano too should have wiped it out as well, correct?
A shame too because this one had some potential. Directed by one of my favorite higher end b-movie directors, Peter Hyams, who also bought us The Relic and Time Cop, A Sound of Thunder had the underpinnings of decent flick. With the slightest bit of attention to detail and a little more imagination it could have been a popcorn classic. On a good note though, it now goes into the so bad itís almost good category. Move over Catwoman, you have some company.