Movie Review – The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly EffectThe Plot – It isn’t the blackouts that worry Evan’s mother, but a fear that he may share the same illness that has kept his father institutionalized since Evan’s birth. After an incident at school a specialist recommends Evan keep a daily journal of his activities. Years pass and whenever Evan experiences something traumatic he blacks out. Eventually his mother moves him away from his childhood companions, too late to save any of them from the horrors they’ve shared.

Seemingly together in his new life, a college-age Evan is caught up in the study of human memory. A brilliant student, he is the talk of the department and more importantly he’s been blackout free for seven years. That is until Evan takes a moment to read one of his old journals. As he reads about one of the more traumatic moments in his life the room shakes and suddenly he finds himself reliving the exact instant where he once blacked out. Upon further investigation Evan discovers he has the ability to travel back through time and alter the history of those around him. The only question is can he alter things for the better?

The Review – I read a lot of bad press about The Butterfly Effect before seeing it last night. I really was more interested in the storyline than Ashton Kutcher’s thespian skills which helped tone down my expectations. Can Ashton Kutcher act? I can’t say his performance was so cardboard that it distracted from the film. Is the movie plausible? The story moves along at a good clip and requires a lot of faith from the viewing audience. As a strict sci-fi tale you could poke holes in the physics of it all, but I was more intrigued by the tale. Unlike the happy-go-lucky feel of Back To The Future, Evan’s attempts to correct the traumas of his life and those around him only spins more chaos. I found myself thinking in terms of my own life and what would have been lost or gained if I had zigged instead of zagged. Perhaps it was the “What if?” aspect of the movie that kept me intrigued. Mind you the story is loosely held together, the acting is mediocre, but still I found the film entertaining. As expected, the film wraps itself up neatly, but not so Scooby that I wanted to puke.

Grade: B-/C+ (this is one of those love it or hate it films)

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  • mr. helpful January 26, 2004   Reply →

    i could see this as one of those “love/hate” films right away and since i generally trend toward “hate” anyway, i figured i’d spare myself the waste of time and money so, instead, i watched golf on television.

  • Chris January 26, 2004   Reply →

    I liked your review. I haven’t seen the film and haven’t really planned on seeing it (until it comes out on dvd) but I liked your short and simple synopsis and objective review. I may just have to check it out in theater now.

  • Karen January 27, 2004   Reply →

    So, this is a good Netflix movie? 🙂

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