A Sound Of Thunder (2005)

(On DVD, October 2006) Believe the hype. Or, in this case, the cries and lamentation of scorched viewers around the world as they warn you to stay away from this piece of trash. Knowing that this was (briefly) released in theatres is the only thing that separates this film from the usual straight-to-video crap. If a big budget was involved in the production of this film, you won’t know it by looking at the screen: the special effects are some of the worst in recent memory (oy, that rear-projection!), and the film’s overall look is nothing to cheer about. The actors aren’t much better, with cut-rate performances (to use the term loosely) by Edward Burns and Ken Kingsley. But worst of all is the script, which manages a decent opening before floundering in “time waves” tripe and the usual “pick them off one by one until only the hero and love interest are left” structure. (Worse: the shape of the ending is visible one hour early, and it keeps going well after the point has been made.) Cutting away all that’s bad about the film would give you a meagre five minutes’ worth of acceptable material, but nothing more. Had the filmmakers been more self-aware, there may have been some camp value to this. But it ends up with all of the sophistication of a 50s monster movie, except without the excuse that they didn’t know any better. To think that it sullies a classic SF short story…

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