×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

A Sound Of Thunder

Every bit as bad as advance buzz has indicated, Peter Hyams' long-delayed "A Sound of Thunder" finally arrives in megaplexes just in time to provide an appropriately downbeat end to a disappointing summer season. It's a clunky and cheesy disaster that doubtless will fast-forward to bargain bins at homevid outlets.

With:
Travis Ryer - Edward Burns Sonia Rand - Catherine McCormack Charles Hatton - Ben Kingsley Jenny Krase - Jemina Rooper Tech Officer Payne - David Oyelowo Dr. Andrew Lucas - Wilfried Hochholdinger Clay Derris - August Zirner Christian Middleton - Corey Johnson

Every bit as bad as advance buzz has indicated, Peter Hyams’ long-delayed “A Sound of Thunder” finally arrives in megaplexes just in time to provide an appropriately downbeat end to a disappointing summer season. It’s a clunky and cheesy disaster that doubtless will fast-forward to bargain bins at homevid outlets.

Loosely based on a story by Ray Bradbury — very, very loosely, no doubt – pic is cautionary yarn about the dangers of time travel. In 2055 Chicago, Time Safari, Inc., uses cutting-edge technology to zap wealthy customers back to the Cretaceous Era for the chance to hunt dinosaurs. Everything is supposed to be rigidly controlled – just like at “Westworld,” right? — to ensure nothing that occurs during a blast to the past can alter the flow of history and evolution.

But, of course, something terrible happens – specifically, someone inadvertently stomps on a butterfly — and that in turn triggers a series of “time waves” that threaten to revert the 21st-century planet to a prehistoric state.

As primordial plant life overruns the Windy City, and bizarrely evolved predators (one part primate, one part reptile, all parts nasty) prey on bit players and co-stars, Dr. Travis Ryer (Edward Burns), the studly scientist who leads the Time Safari treks, and Dr. Sonia Rand (Catherine McCormack), inventor of the time-travel technology, struggle to reverse the reverting process.

It’s conceivable that “Thunder” might have been more impressive with an upgrade in its production values. (The chintzy special effects often make it appear the actors have been dropped into the middle of a video game.) But all the high-tech gloss in the world wouldn’t smooth Hyams’ bumpy pacing – by turns desperately frenetic and yawningly plodding – or untangle the sometimes torturously muddled storyline.

There are definite signs of last-minute cutting, re-cutting and re-re-cutting. And there is every indication that most of the cast didn’t feel “Thunder” was worth the expenditure of excessive effort. Ben Kingsley has a few choice moments as Time Safari CEO Charles Hatton, a glad-handing greedhead who undermines safety precautions. Unfortunately, he’s forced to wear an outrageous wig that makes it appear he has a massive White Persian cat perched atop his head.

There’s probably an interesting doc (or docudrama) to be made about the making of “A Sound of Thunder.” Pic was buffeted by mishaps like massive flooding during location filming in the Czech Republic, and the subsequent (albeit not directly related) bankruptcy of Franchise Pictures. Surely, this drama behind the drama would be far more entertaining than what actually appears on screen.

A Sound Of Thunder

Production: A Warner Bros. release of a Franchise Pictures presentation of an Apollomedia/QI Quality International/MFF (Sound of Thunder) Limited/FilmGroup 111/Coco co-production in association with Crusader Films of a Scenario Lane/Jericho production. Produced by Moshe Diamant, Howard Baldwin and Karen Baldwin. Executive producers: Elie Samaha, Romana Cisarova, John Hardy, Rick Nathanson, Jörg Westerkamp, William J. Immerman and Breck Eisner. Co-producers: Frank Hûbner, Jan Fantl. Directed by Peter Hyams. Screenplay, Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer and Greg Poirier, based on a story by Ray Bradbury.

Crew: Camera (color), Hyams; editor, Sylvie Landra; music, Nick Glennie-Smith; production designer, Richard Holland; art director, Keith Pain; set decorator, Richard Roberts; costume designer, Esther Walz; visual effects supervisor, Tim McGovern; visual effects producer, George Merkert; special effects supervisor Joss Williams; sound, Manfred Banach; line producer, Guy Louthan; assistant director, Charlie Watson; casting, Anja Dihrberg, Jessica Horathova. Reviewed at Edwards Marq*e 23, Houston, Aug. 31, 2005. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: Travis Ryer - Edward Burns Sonia Rand - Catherine McCormack Charles Hatton - Ben Kingsley Jenny Krase - Jemina Rooper Tech Officer Payne - David Oyelowo Dr. Andrew Lucas - Wilfried Hochholdinger Clay Derris - August Zirner Christian Middleton - Corey Johnson

More Film

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to truly have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally acknowledged that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was a bit lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Soaring to $100 Million-Plus Memorial Day Weekend Debut

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake is on its way to a commendable Memorial Day weekend debut with an estimated $109 million over the four-day period. The musical fantasy starring Will Smith and Mena Massoud should uncover about $87 million in its first three days from 4,476 North American theaters after taking in $31 million on Friday. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content