The Butterfly Effect (2004)


Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber


Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart


Not as horrible as I expected. Not good, but, not too horrible.


Name a good time-travel film. Not just entertaining, but convincing. It's pretty hard. Terminator was obviously great fun, but flawed; Planet of the Apes (original), ropey at best; Time Bandits, fantastic, but don't analyse it; Bill & Ted, probably the best of all of them.

To name this in the same breath of those is a bit of an overcompliment, but still it rates for me on the same scale as Donnie Darko. Watch the film, but don't even think about seeing if it makes any sense, as it won't.

Ashton Kutcher blocks certain events from his past, but can remember and alter them through reading his (surprisingly eloquent) journals about them and re-enacting the events. Err, yeah. Throw in the whole 'small events can change your whole life in tediously minor or cliched ways' plotline, and hey! You've got a Hollywood movie!

There are dark aspects (a Good Thing), and there are moments of (unintentional) comedy, and there are, well, unimaginative scriptwriters and plot holes. And plot holes. And plot hol...

Funnily enough, the changes to his 6 year old self are less devastating to the fabric of time as the most minor alterations in Groundhog Day. The novelty of the plot is to throw in a whole "is he, isn't he" lunatic asylum subplot that pales in comparison to Nightbreed mainly due to the lack of David Cronenberg acting as his shrink.

I ended up feeling as if I had enjoyed the film, but writing this a few days later made me realise how much the plot inadequacies bugged me. Still worth watching, if not just for Ashton "I'm an A-Lister" Kutcher being out-acted by the excellent John Patrick Amedori and Logan Lerman as his younger selves.

Rating: 5 / 10