Monday, November 27, 2017

Film Review: The Butterfly Effect (2004)

The Butterfly Effect (Review)
United States/2004
Format Viewed for Review: Vudu
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the most interesting films of the 21st century."

Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) suffers from blackouts during his childhood. As an adult, he discovers a way to revisit and change the past by reading his journals, but he soon finds that there are consequences to his every action...

The Butterfly Effect follows Evan Treborn throughout his life. As a child, he spends time with a close group of friends: Tommy, a troublemaker, Kayleigh, Tommy's brother and Evan's crush, and Lenny, a frail kid. He experiences several significant events with his friends, including molestation at the hands of a trusted adult, a devastating accident caused by a prank, and the violent death of his pet. As an adult, Evan begins reading his journals and he discovers that he can miraculously revisit the past with his adult mind inhabiting his young body. And, everything he does in the past, changes the present. This leads to some significant and often catastrophic changes, which I won't spoil. This tragic story leads to a somber, effective ending.


The Butterfly Effect is a fantastic supernatural thriller. It is a unique approach to the, well, butterfly effect—where one minor change can have significant effects elsewhere. Although the concept is brilliant, the story really shines because of the characters. It starts off a bit disjointed, jumping from one significant event to another without a bridge, but it ultimately works out, especially as the gaps are filled in. You get a tragic story with some very compelling characters and mature themes. It kinda reminded me of something Stephen King would write for some reason. It's engaging, it's dark, it's suspenseful, and it's incredibly entertaining. It lost some steam towards the middle, but it quickly got back on its feet. Other than that, I really don't have any significant complaints and I don't see a reason to nitpick,

Ashton Kutcher delivered a surprisingly strong performance. Okay, he's not DiCaprio, but he was really good, especially considering all of the crap he gets as an actor. The supporting performances were also strong. The film was shot well, too. I will say, though, for such a strong movie, the music wasn't that great. You'd expect the music to have a stronger effect considering the unique plot, but I felt like it fumbled in that department. It wasn't bad, but it certainly isn't memorable. The film was written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. Bress and Gruber team up to create a very compelling and entertaining experience. Aside from one segment of the film, the rest of the movie flows so smoothly. The story is very engaging and interesting, too, keeping my eyes glued to the screen from beginning to end.

Overall, The Butterfly Effect is a fantastic film. It's one of the most interesting films of the 21st century. Ignore the Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores. Hell, feel free to ignore me, too. But, don't miss this movie if you're interested in time-travel/surreal experiences. It has its fair share of flaws, but it is very unique and entertaining.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, nudity.

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