out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
The Butterfly Effect
|*Also starring: ||Kevin Schmidt, Eric Stoltz, Elden Henson, Melora Walters, John Patrick Amedori, Cameron Bright, William Lee Scott, Brandy Heidrick, Ethan Suplee, Grant Thompson||
Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4
Ashton Kutcher punk'd his doubters, scoring top box-office numbers with
this time-travel thriller. Now that doesn't mean the guy can act. So far, all
indications show he can't. But it does confirm his celebrity status as a TV
star and the highly publicized companion of Demi Moore.
Based on the Chaos Theory premise that a butterfly flapping its wings in
a garden can cause a typhoon half-a-world away, the story features Kutcher as
Evan Treborn, a college student who is haunted by repressed memories. From age
seven, he's been experiencing blackouts during periods of high emotional
stress. Since he's a psychology major, he's determined to discover why. This
leads him into an alternate reality where he re-lives childhood horrors - like
nearly being strangled to death, having his beloved pet terrier tied up in a
canvas bag and set on fire, and being forced to participate in a child
pornography video by the abusive father (Eric Stoltz) of Kayleigh (Amy Smart) a
childhood friend who, later on, commits suicide. Evan figures if he can travel
back on the twisted time/space continuum to his younger self, he can change his
behavior in small ways that will alter his sordid history. Sound confusing? It
isn't. Sound creepy? It is. Writers/directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber
utilize an intriguing, supernatural yet overly simplistic concept that revolves
around chance and the consequences of the choices we make.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Butterfly Effect" is a weird
5. Traditionally, late January/early February has been the dumping ground for
mediocre, low-budget pictures geared to attract a diversion-starved audience
that's already seen the Oscar contenders. So time will tell if curiosity makes
off-beat "Butterfly" continue to flutter in the vast winter wasteland.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger
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