A Sund of Thunder

Director: Peter Hayams

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

A Sund of Thunder A Sound of Thunder (2005) set in the year 2055 is a special FX extravaganza, more convincing than most CGI-reliant live-action cartoons.

Charles Hatton (Ben Kingsley) sells hunting treks back in time so billionaires can kill dinosaurs. We're in the realm of Ray Bradbury's tale that assumes tourists to the past would change all reality even by just stepping on a butterfly.

Bradbury's tale was short & sweet with a nice little sting in the tail, but the film barely relates to that story except for the central butterfly bit. This take on the premise is really nothing but an extended ad for the video game of the same name, so there was never a chance of doing justice to Bradbury.

The vendors of these hunting trips have assumed that animals soon to be eradicated anyway (by a massive volcanic eruption in this case) are fare game, as those beasts would not influence the future. But as it happens, someone runs around like a nutter & steps on a butterfly.

Ripples through time change the characters' present (our future). The world of humanity becomes increasingly a world of monsters descended from creatures resulting from the altered prehistory.

A Sund of ThunderThe set-up is only an excuse for any oddity contrivable in CGI. Monster plants. Monster fish. Monster bats.

The strange thing is how, by CGI standards of 2005, these are dreadful FX. And since it has nothing but FX to recommend it, it ends up with nothing to recommend it.

The premise doesn't actually work if the viewer has the audacity to think about any of it. Within the film's own "rules" it remains utterly nonsensical.

Any "thinking" twelve year old viewer is going to ask why they don't travel back in time ahead of the guys who changed the past & stop them from harming the butterfly. The more adult viewer, if bothering to pay attention, might note that an exploding volcano would've killed that butterfly anyway, so it was not really more significant than slaughtering dinosaurs.

The story structure does not progress in any rational mode. It's only a series of tableaus held together by a theme. Deadly bugs exist only in one woman's apartment.

A Sund of ThunderWhen that part of the funhouse ride or video game is over, there will be no further such encounters, the bugs being not part of an ecology but only part of the ride.

This nonsense does have some potential for entertainment, on the level of a colorful cartoon, with the bonus of reasonably good actors trying their best to sell all the idiocy.

The film makes enough racket & has enough brightly flashing colors & rapid editing, so that possibly not even that thinking twelve-year-old will have time to think ir care about what's got 'em hypnotized.

Go with the flow & soon the only thing that matters is yowza neato looky at the killer leaf-nosed bat-o-sauruses hanging from the eaves. Or zippy-da-doo-pinhead-dah! There's a maury eelosaurus in the water! Oo! Oo! Jumpin' G. Hosephat, a pack of Baboonosauruses! And yet personally, I regret wasting my time.

For lots more dinosaurs, continue to:
Dinosaurus! (1960), Unknown Island (1948) & others

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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