Year 2055, Chicago. Technological advances can permit time travel, and for multimillionaires, allow one to hire Safaris to hunt dinosaurs. Only three simple rules: don’t forget anything there, don’t bring anything from there and, above all, don’t change anything from the past.
In this case, a mistake made by a couple of silly clients produces the effect of the planet being shaken by temporal phenomena that transform the city of Chicago into a futurist zoological park, leading the viewer into a Jurassic Park type adventure directed by the experienced hand of Peter Hyams (Capricorn One, 1978, The Relic, 1997), who tries, unsuccessfully, to conceal the main flaw of the movie: the amazingly seedy visual effects.
The 2002 flooding in Prague that destroyed most of film’s sets, has something to do with this. The accident caused an enormous delay in the production and, partially, explains the fact that the film with a budget of $80 million, has a Sunday afternoon TV movie look. The sets were replaced by digital backgrounds, with a questionable quality, while the general design verges on the ridiculous, especially the submarine sequences.
Originally, the film was to be shoot in Montreal in 2001, directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, 1900, Exorcist: The Beginning, 2004) and starring Pierce Brosnan, but they abandoned the project. The veteran director Peter Hyams took the control and started the production without having all the financing. One of the film’s major financial partners, the German company QI Quality International GmbH & Co. KG, financially collapsed part way through production. Besides, Franchise Pictures, the major company production’s, (which we have already discussed here) viability was destroyed after the fraud sentence of the court in the case of the inflated budget of another memorable film, Battlefield Earth, falling into bankruptcy in 2004.
The other international production companies (including US, Czech and German companies) decided to shoot the film in the Czech Republic in 2002, where flooding destroyed the sets. Finally, the opening had to be delayed more than a year after the originally release date. The film earned a pitiful $1.1 million in USA, and $11 million worldwide, getting merciless reviews that ridiculed it, causing it to go directly to video-stores in many countries.