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A Sound of Thunder (PG-13)

Release Date: September 2nd, 2005 by Warner Brothers Pictures.
The Cast: Edward Burns, Ben Kingsley, Catherine McCormack, Jemima Rooper.
Directed by Peter Hyams.

BASIC PREMISE: During a time-traveling mission to kill dinosaurs, Travis (Burns) kills a butterfly, which causes changes the evolutionary process once he and his team return to the present.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The premise of the changes in the past affecting the future is very interesting and makes for a very imaginative, adventurous movie. Burns gives a mediocre performance as Travis, who leads the adventure. McCormack gives a decent performance as Sonia, a woman who accurately predicts the danger of the time machine (a.k.a. the Time Safari). The most bizarre character is Charles, the owner of the Time Safari—his haircut is very scary and the way he delivers his lines is unintentionally funny. The plot becomes more interesting when an evolutionary tidal waves start to show up, which cause unpredictable changes and new forms of life. Most of the special effects are very impressive, especially the ape-like creatures. These creatures have a very scary and threatening look. However, there are a few scenes where the use of blue screens is very apparent. There is one creepy scene when thousands of insects suddenly crawl all over a room and onto Sonia and Travis. The way that that they escape these insects is hard to believe—given how far they have to jump from the window. The plot falls apart in the final third of the film because it seems redundant, contrived, and implausible—especially how Travis manages to easily defeat a 50 foot-long, vicious eel in a subway.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The consequences of time travel are very thought provoking. One small change can cause a ripple effect that can wipe out an entire species or creature a new one. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about it because nobody has been able to invent a time machine so far. This movie makes you think about the “what ifs” and suggest that there are very disturbing consequences once the past is toyed with.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: A few implausible action sequences and a contrived ending.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A very provocative, engaging, and occasionally inventive plot is dragged down by a few weak special effects, mediocre acting, and a formulaic script.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (2nd Run)

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