Movie Review: A Sound of Thunder

A Sound of Thunder is Peter Hyams’ 2005 film version of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 time travel story of the same name.

We rented the movie because my husband was in the mood for an entertainingly bad movie (sometimes, you just want cheese, you know?). It was indeed fairly entertaining, and not quite as bad as we’d been led to believe.

It has two major problems:

1. The lead actor, Ed Burns, displays one of two facial expressions (“blank” and “vaguely annoyed”) throughout the entire film. Case in point: when a character with whom his character has a close, brother/sister type relationship gets killed horribly — he looks blank, then vaguely annoyed.

2. It was clearly intended as an eye-candy FX film — and the effects looked really unfinished. The movie was heavily CGI-based, and almost all the CGI needed another rendering pass or two before it would be ready for audiences.

Apparently, the movie ran over budget in post-production, and the studio refused to front the money for proper completion. They shelved the almost-finished film for a couple of years, then dumped it in theaters.

While parts of it run like a checklist of action movie cliches, Thunder is really no dumber than other big loud skiffy films like The Day After Tomorrow, The Core, or Paycheck, and it does have some fairly witty dialog in places. And Ben Kingsley is fun to watch.

While I agree that Ray Bradbury’s work deserves a better treatment, even with the underbaked FX and sleepwalking star, I think most science fiction fans would find this a more enjoyable movie than, say, Elektra.

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