Tuesday, 4 April 2006

A Sound Of Thunder

It was always going to be a difficult task to put Mr Bradbury's classic to the screen and Peter Hyams has failed miserably. Perhaps it was only ever going to work when it was spoofed like the Simpsons did in the Halloween special so long ago. I remember downloading the preview almost two years ago and wondering why it never appeared in the cinemas. Tonight I learned why.
Amongst its numerous crimes:
- Having two scientists argue out the ethics and risks of time travel giving away the entire plot in the first ten minutes (i am aware that its a plot device but come on, ten minutes in?)
- Using shockingly cheap bluescreen effects to simulate a bustling 2055 metropolis
- Having Ben Kingsley whore out his talent by playing a greedy morality free billionaire (although by 2055 I would presume he's a trillionairre or even a quadrillionaire)
- In order to have a bad guy they make te billionairre turn off the safety net 'biofilter' to save running costs - why does there ALWAYS have to be a bad guy? Isn't the fact that they're playing around with time travel justification enough that something is going to go wrong?
- Having a scientist use Heisenberg's uncertainty principle as justification of uncertainty in life
- TAMY is one of the most irritating AIs I;ve ever witnessed
- One easily pushed around guy is the only regulation that the time travel venture has
- Sticking with the original plot of the book for the first fifteen minutes then going on the most bizarre tangent involving some of the worst time travel themes ever - the time wave??? What were they thinking?

To tell the truth its a pretty crappy short story to begin with and it was always going to be a crappy film, even if they did stick to the original plot. Th's not to say that elements of the short story could not be reconstructed into an exploration as to the dangers of hypothetical time travel, especially the butterfly effect (which is what this story purports to do, even having an actual butterfly as the mechanism that starts off the spinoff parallel universe)., but basically, this film is not it.

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