A Sound of Thunder (film)

A Sound of Thunder (film)

Overview
A Sound of Thunder is a 2005 science fiction film
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 directed by Peter Hyams
Peter Hyams
Peter Hyams is an American screenwriter, director and cinematographer, probably best known for directing the 1984 science fiction adventure 2010 , Capricorn One, the comic book adaptation Timecop and the Arnold Schwarzenegger horror/action film End of Days.-Family:Hyams was born in New York...

. The film was planned originally for a 2002 release. However, flooding in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 (where the production was filmed) and other financial difficulties—including the bankruptcy of the original production company during post-production—resulted in a delayed release. A Sound of Thunder is based on the short story "A Sound of Thunder
A Sound of Thunder
“A Sound of Thunder” is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury, first published in Collier’s magazine in 1952. As of 1984 it was the most re-published science fiction story up to the present time...

" by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury
Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th...

. The film is about "time tourists
Time travel
Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

" who accidentally interfere too much with the past, completely altering the present.

In the near future time-travel (referred to as "time-jumping") is possible, but is considered very dangerous and unpredictable.
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Encyclopedia
A Sound of Thunder is a 2005 science fiction film
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 directed by Peter Hyams
Peter Hyams
Peter Hyams is an American screenwriter, director and cinematographer, probably best known for directing the 1984 science fiction adventure 2010 , Capricorn One, the comic book adaptation Timecop and the Arnold Schwarzenegger horror/action film End of Days.-Family:Hyams was born in New York...

. The film was planned originally for a 2002 release. However, flooding in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 (where the production was filmed) and other financial difficulties—including the bankruptcy of the original production company during post-production—resulted in a delayed release. A Sound of Thunder is based on the short story "A Sound of Thunder
A Sound of Thunder
“A Sound of Thunder” is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury, first published in Collier’s magazine in 1952. As of 1984 it was the most re-published science fiction story up to the present time...

" by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury
Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th...

. The film is about "time tourists
Time travel
Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

" who accidentally interfere too much with the past, completely altering the present.

Plot


In the near future time-travel (referred to as "time-jumping") is possible, but is considered very dangerous and unpredictable. A rich businessman named Charles Hatton (Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE is a British actor. He has won an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards in his career. He is known for starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the film Gandhi in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor...

) has begun offering a time tourism service christened the "Time Safari" located in Chicago. For an extraordinary price, Time Safari will take clients through a wormhole
Wormhole
In physics, a wormhole is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that would be, fundamentally, a "shortcut" through spacetime. For a simple visual explanation of a wormhole, consider spacetime visualized as a two-dimensional surface. If this surface is folded along a third dimension, it...

 to the past to hunt dinosaurs. Scientist Travis Ryer (Edward Burns
Edward Burns
Edward Fitzgerald Burns is an American actor, film producer, writer and director.-Early life:Burns was born in Woodside, Queens, New York, the son of Molly , a federal agency manager, and Edward J. Burns, a public relations spokesman and police officer. He was raised a Roman Catholic...

) is the leader of these expeditions, along with several other guides. The following protocols are set out:
  1. Don't change anything in the past.
  2. Don't leave anything behind.
  3. Don't bring anything back.


To further ensure that Earth's evolutionary timeline
Timeline
A timeline is a way of displaying a list of events in chronological order, sometimes described as a project artifact . It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labeled with dates alongside itself and events labeled on points where they would have happened.-Uses of timelines:Timelines...

 will not be disturbed, only creatures that are already doomed——such as dinosaurs about to die in a volcanic eruption——can be killed. The participants must wear helmets with sealed faceplates and use rifles that fire frozen-nitrogen bullets that melt, leaving no trace. The wormhole itself creates a transparent pathway that physically separates the party from touching the ground.

On one excursion, the guides are escorting a party of wealthy clients. One of the men, who is extremely nervous, is surprised by a prehistoric butterfly, which he tries to shoot when it comes too close to his helmet. He learns that his weapon will not independently fire, as all weapons are tied remotely to Ryer's. He alone has to fire first, deactivating the other rifles' safeties.

The group gathers by a large tar pit, waiting for their prey. As scheduled, they are charged by an Allosaurus
Allosaurus
Allosaurus is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 150 million years ago during the late Jurassic period . The name Allosaurus means "different lizard". It is derived from the Greek /allos and /sauros...

, but the safety on Ryer's rifle does not deactivate, due to cooling fluid accidentally leaking on it, and nobody is able to fire. Panicked, two of the tourists run for cover. Ryer and the guides distract the dinosaur, while quickly exchanging gun parts in order to slay the beast. The party returns through the time portal, after successfully killing the dinosaur. Unseen, a footprint of tar on the path indicates that someone has stepped off it.

The next day, Ryer notices significant climate and other small changes around him. On the next expedition, Ryer and a new party of tourists arrive to slay the Allosaurus. As they wait for the creature to emerge, Ryer checks his watch, realizes it is late and that the Allosaurus should have already arrived. Instead, they find it has already died. Furthermore, the volcano, which is supposed to erupt after the explorers left, has already started rumbling.

The federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 agency that oversees temporal travel opens an investigation and shuts down Time Safari in order to review protocols. Ryer seeks out Sonia Rand (Catherine McCormack
Catherine McCormack
Catherine McCormack is an English actress, known for her stage acting as well as her screen performances in films such as Braveheart, Spy Game and Dangerous Beauty.- Early life :...

), the original developer of the time travel
Time travel
Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

 technology and the computer (TAMI) that controls the jumps. She believes that Time Safari is essentially playing with fire and she is angry about her previous association with the company.

Because the past has been changed, a series of time waves sweep across the present. The second wave produces killer ants and vegetation that drive the two from Rand's apartment. Rand explains that the sequence of changes will not take effect at once, but instead will spread out like a series of ripples on the surface of water. Moreover, they will proceed in order of evolution: first the non-living physical environment will reset, then the vegetation will change, then wildlife, and finally humans.

Under supervision of the temporal agency, Time Safari sends Ryer back to fix the past with Rand's help. When he arrives, he discovers he is in the American Southwest and about to be trampled by an Apache
Apache
Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

 tribe on horseback. Ryer ducks out of the way, but sees that another time wave is about to hit. He leaps through the wormhole, but just as he exits, the wave hits, causing all power in the Time Safari facility to go out. When back-up power is restored, the building and the city are covered in dense vegetation.

One of the scientists, Payne (David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo
- Background :Oyelowo was born in Oxford, England of Nigerian descent. He is married to actress Jessica Oyelowo and they have three sons.Oyelowo first attended a youth theatre after being invited by a girl to whom he was attracted. He then studied Theatre Studies for A level and his teacher...

), discovers that the original team returned just over a gram heavier than when they left. It is also discovered that Hatton has bribed a government administrator to allow the shutdown of a costly "bio filter," which screens out the transfer of organic matter. The team leaves the company building and find the two clients battling baboon
Baboon
Baboons are African and Arabian Old World monkeys belonging to the genus Papio, part of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. There are five species, which are some of the largest non-hominoid members of the primate order; only the mandrill and the drill are larger...

/dinosaur and bat/pterodactyl re-evolved hybrid creatures as well as predatory plants. They learn that one of the tourists stepped on a butterfly, bringing it back to the present, and critically altering the evolution of life.

Another time wave hits just before they reach the time portal. Finding it no longer works, they decide to try to get to a university possessing a particle accelerator, which can be modified to function as a time machine. Eventually, only Ryer and Rand are left alive. Rand manages to send Ryer back 65,000,001 years to dodge the time waves, and then slingshots forward one year to the point when the original explorers traveled into the past. In the present, the final time wave hits and Rand is turned into a catfish-like humanoid.

Ryer tells Jenny (Jemima Rooper
Jemima Rooper
Jemima Rooper is an English actress.- Background :Born in Hammersmith, London, Rooper is the daughter of TV journalist Alison Rooper. She attended Redcliffe Primary School in Chelsea, London and Godolphin and Latymer girls' school. While working on The Famous Five, she passed eight GCSEs with A*...

), his niece, about everything that will happen in the future. He stops the tourist from stepping off the path and killing the butterfly, then dispersal, ceasing to exist, as his future was averted. Back in the present, Jenny gives Ryer the video of the second Ryer who saved the future. He visits Rand to show her the video, hoping that together they will be able to put the time company out of business.

Cast

  • Edward Burns
    Edward Burns
    Edward Fitzgerald Burns is an American actor, film producer, writer and director.-Early life:Burns was born in Woodside, Queens, New York, the son of Molly , a federal agency manager, and Edward J. Burns, a public relations spokesman and police officer. He was raised a Roman Catholic...

    : Travis Ryer
  • Catherine McCormack
    Catherine McCormack
    Catherine McCormack is an English actress, known for her stage acting as well as her screen performances in films such as Braveheart, Spy Game and Dangerous Beauty.- Early life :...

    : Sonia Rand
  • Ben Kingsley
    Ben Kingsley
    Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE is a British actor. He has won an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards in his career. He is known for starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the film Gandhi in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor...

    : Charles Hatton
  • Jemima Rooper
    Jemima Rooper
    Jemima Rooper is an English actress.- Background :Born in Hammersmith, London, Rooper is the daughter of TV journalist Alison Rooper. She attended Redcliffe Primary School in Chelsea, London and Godolphin and Latymer girls' school. While working on The Famous Five, she passed eight GCSEs with A*...

    : Jenny Krase
  • David Oyelowo
    David Oyelowo
    - Background :Oyelowo was born in Oxford, England of Nigerian descent. He is married to actress Jessica Oyelowo and they have three sons.Oyelowo first attended a youth theatre after being invited by a girl to whom he was attracted. He then studied Theatre Studies for A level and his teacher...

    : Payne
  • Wilfried Hochholdinger: Dr. Lucas
  • August Zirner
    August Zirner
    August Zirner is an American-Austrian actor, who starred in over 60 film productions. He is one of the most popular actors in Germany.-Biography:...

    : Clay Derris
  • Corey Johnson
    Corey Johnson
    Corey Johnson is an American actor largely active in the United Kingdom. Johnson was born John Johnson in New Orleans, Louisiana....

    : Christian Middleton
  • Heike Makatsch
    Heike Makatsch
    - Early life :Makatsch was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, the daughter of former German national ice hockey team goaltender Rainer Makatsch. She spent several months in New Mexico in 1988 in an effort to improve her English, and later studied politics and sociology at the University of Düsseldorf for...

    : Jarred Price

Reception


The film received overwhelmingly negative critical reviews. Common complaints against the film included its poor special effects, uninvolved performances, scientific errors, and Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE is a British actor. He has won an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards in his career. He is known for starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the film Gandhi in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor...

's hair.

As a result of the poor reviews and lack of promotion, the film — which was estimated to have cost $80 million — grossed less than $12 million in worldwide release.