A Sound of Thunder (2005)
It's hard to believe that a major studio picture could be released in 2005 that is this shockingly shoddy. A Sound of Thunder is so goofy and amateurish-looking it can only serve as an object of ridicule. So, what happened?
Based on the Ray Bradbury short-story, A Sound of Thunder is set in 2055 where time-travel is being used by a company to send wealthy patrons to the prehistoric era to hunt dinosaurs. There is a specific pattern in the timing of these excursions and a precise path in which the hunters must never veer from, so, naturally, things go wrong, a hunter strays from the path, and kills a butterfly. This seemingly innocuous mistake sends a chain reaction through the continuum of time and throughout the movie and the reality of the characters is disrupted.
This all sounds great in concept, but A Sound of Thunder drops the ball big time in execution. A story this ambitious needs the budget and the craft to be able to do justice to the material, but the special-effects on display here are on the level of some particularly bad child's computer project. Needless to say, the dinosaurs in the earlier passages isn't on the same level as those in Jurassic Park; heck, there not even on the same level as Carnosaur. Even more laughable are the scenes where characters are walking around outside a 'futuristic city' that consists of a fake-looking loop of wacky cars driving in the background while the characters walk in place in front of it. No kidding. It really has to be seen to be believed.
Things do get a bit better later in the film when there are periodic rifts in the time fabric and the reality starts to change, such as the overgrowth of vegetation and the mutated baboon-people, but it's not nearly enough. I'm not sure what stars Ben Kingsley (as the owner of the time-travel company) and Edward Burns (as the travel guide) must've been thinking as they were required to perform, adrift in such a slack, threadbare production. Did they know how badly things were going? Did the movie have a good budget and then get its funding slashed midway through?
These are the questions left unanswered and, really, no one cares enough to seek them out. And how A Sound of Thunder cost anywhere near $50 million to make is the biggest mystery of them all.