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REVIEW: The Butterfly Effect

REVIEW SUMMARY: Michael Kelso can change history by reading his journals.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A young man learns that he can change traumatic events from his childhood by reading the journals he kept from those periods. Through his various attempts to change the past, he learns that (surprise) changing the past can have dangerous repercussions in the future.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: It was interesting to see the various permutations of historical changes, though some of them made no sense to me; the movie wrapped itself up in a nice neat bundle at the end – no loose ends

CONS: Ashton Kutcher and serious acting are two things that don’t mix well – I don’t mind him in That 70’s show because he’s supposed to play the part of the dolt, but I’d put Daffy Duck in a dramatic role before putting Ashton “Dude, Where’s My Car” Kuthcer in another serious film.

BOTTOM LINE: 2 hours of my life – gone. If I could change history, the first thing I’d do is go get that two hours back.


** Minor spoilers follow **

Ashton Kutcher plays Even Treborn, a boy/young man with the ability to change history by reading his journals. Apparently as he reads the words of his journal, he’s transported back to the time he’s reading about. Even though he’s the age he was when the journal entry was made, he has knowledgeof everything that’s happened to the time he was reading the journal, and mental maturity of a yound adult. That was problem #1.

After he tweaks the piece of history that he wants, he suddenly “wakes up” as a young adult again, apparently at about the same time as when he was reading the journal before the tweak. Problem #2 – what is he waking up from?

And problem #3 – after he wakes up, he seems to have memories of past history tweaks, even though the movie makes a point of showing those memories being erased.

It could be that I’m too dense to understand the intricacies of time travel and changing history – this is just one man’s opinion.

I’m giving it 2.5 stars because it kept me interested enough to see how it was going to turn out, and I think the ending was satisfactory. Just don’t think very hard about it. Maybe I’m being a little harsh. Maybe I’m getting too old and grumpy and critical. After all, I was a teenager once and saw my share of goofy movies (I remember sneaking into the theater to see Porky’s when my friends were old enough to drive.) And I’m apparently in the minority on this movie as it got an average rating of 7.5/10 on IMDB, and one reviewer actually called it a “Must See Film”.

12 Comments on REVIEW: The Butterfly Effect

  1. a loss of 2 hours and you still gave it 2.5 stars, so there must be something you like…

  2. Did you watch the theatrical version or the director’s cut? If you got the DVD, flip it over and watch the end of the other version. In this case, the director’s cut is not simply more. Different ending. And I like both endings equally.

  3. Oh, by the way, cue either version up to chapter 19 and watch from there.

  4. Darn, I sent the movie back yesterday. I watched the director’s cut. If you know the ending for the theatrical version, plesae email me with it!

  5. If there was ever a rocket to sent waste to the sun, this film would be on it.

  6. Regarding the “Review Summary,” I didn’t know that either Michael Kelso, or Ashton Kutcher, for that matter, can read…

  7. You want him to flip it over and waste another 2+ hours?

    Better you should rent something like “The Time Machine” (not the remake).

  8. Fred! Where’ve you been? Tim’s been waiting for your input on the ‘Literary Readers’ post…

    And remember kids: Movie + Ashton Kutcher = complete wast of time embedded in an unwatchable mess.

    This tip brought to you be the helpful, friendly folks at SFSignal.

  9. kids, what jp meant is “complete wastE of time…”

  10. Literary reader’s post? Must have missed it. Where have I been? Let’s see…Working part-time, second shift. Helping my parent’s move by bringing stuff to my house in storage (five hour round trip). Taking my parent’s to the site of their new house to see how it is going (five hour round trip, NJ to PA, then a six hour round trip inside PA). Getting Young Miss Laura ready for school (Real Soon Now).

    Which is I’m sure, more than you needed to know! When I have time, I’ll look for the literary reader’s post (is that the exact title?).

  11. Lj prewitt // December 29, 2004 at 3:03 am //

    Where did the Literary Reader’s Post come in to all this??

  12. Y’know, just because Ashton Kutcher acts like a dolt on TV doesn’t mean he is one. C’mon, the guy bagged Demi Moore! Besides, wasn’t Tom Hanks a dolt in drage once? Wasn’t Robin Williams a hyperactive Alien? Didn’t funnyman Michael Keaton play Batman? Didn’t Sean (007) Connery get the Academy Award? Maybe he’s a dolt or maybe he’s a genius. All I’m saying is don’t typecast the guy. And for the record, I though the Butterfly effect was pretty good.

    🙂

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