Film Review: A Sound of Thunder (2005)

SYNOPSIS:

When a hunter sent back to the prehistoric era runs off the path he must not leave, he causes a chain reaction that alters history in disastrous ways.

REVIEW:

There has a been a pretty decent amount of films made about time. After all, time is one of the great mysteries that still fascinate us to this day. The film “A Sound of Thunder” takes on one of the more simpler concepts and utilizes it to full extent. That concept being what they call “The Butterfly Effect”. For those who might not know entirely what I’m talking about, it’s the idea that if you step on a butterfly in the past (or the equivalent of even the most simplest act), that you could alter the course of the future. “A Sound of Thunder” is based upon a short story by noted author Ray Bradbury

Our film begins in the future, year 2055. The age is modern but still within our grasp of what we’re experiencing today. Maybe a few more modern vehicles, elaborate architecture, but mostly it’s the science and discoveries that really make this period interesting.

A company by the name of “Time Safari” has mastered the art of time travel. They call it “time jumping”. Travis Ryer (Edward Burns) the leading engineer has managed to tap into time travel with the assistance of a talking computer he calls “Tammy”. This company has taken the road of man by charging extreme high dollars for the thrill seek of going back into the prehistoric age and killing a T-rex (in essence becoming time tourists).

Now, the journies are all planned, set up, and choreographed so that nothing goes wrong. In other words, the time travel group is led by their guide and instructed to stay on the time portal path as they travel back into the past. The dinosaur is killed (with untraceable nitrogen bullets) and falls into the mud like it would naturally. The customer gets the experience of a lifetime and a the confrontation of a real T-Rex

This is a pretty frequent exercise as the team repeats this with new clients. Pretty cool…though of course  if believe in the “chaos theory” then you know something, at sometime, is bound to happen. Well even with a pretty strict set of rules, that “thing” does happen. A gun that is supposed to go off malfunctions causing them to delay the killing of the T-rex.

While the incident is salvaged from the disruption, one of the travelers ends up changing “something” that alters the future when they return home. Not all at once mind you, but in what they are calling time waves every 24 hours. As the wave rolls thru a new evolutionary change transforms altering the environment and eventually the species. It becomes a race for “time” to fix the past in order to preserve the present.

This idea may not be exactly “so” fargone as to call it fiction as quantum theorista may recognize this as one potential alternative to our existing time structure. These waves are moments that are for better words “sealed” and then moving forward with a sweeping motion altering the plains of existence.

As this wave rolls forward in 24 hour shifts, Ryer and his colleagues are finding that plant growth has increased, new species are emerging, and the way of life is drastically getting rebooted within these waves. Each wave alters the playing fields creating a new version of our instance that is modified to make room for new plant and animals life. The team has to “fix” the mess or face what the final wave entails …..which is the altered version of humans. Cleverly the story attempts to send Ryer back prior to the waves and then slingshot him back into the offending time zone.

“A Sound of Thunder” has always been among one of my favorite time travel films. It surprised me with its level of CGI and scenery that far exceeds many time travel films AND makes alot of sense. What I appreciate most here is the dedication to the outcomes and principles not only presenting a science fiction film but a potential scenario prediction. Even the nature of man abominating the technology for his own financial gains is carried forth in a way that perfectly fits out assumed actions for the future. I’ve always believed that this movie offers a strong learning point for theorists and plays out the portions to great effect. A highly recommended film for any horror or science fiction fan… “A Sound of Thunder” may just be that future that lies ahead!

A Sound of Thunder (2005)

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