Butterfly Effect

Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Elden Henson, William Lee Scott, Eric Stoltz
Directors: Eric Bress, J Mackye Gruber

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT revolves around a young man who is struggling to get over harmful memories from his childhood, but while doing so discovers a gift (passed on by his insane father) that allows him to travel back in time, through text that he wrote in a jotter and reoccupy his childhood body changing his and in doing so everyone’s history forever. He thinks from bad to good but in reality it’s from bad to worse as each little change has a knock on effect that will effect or change not only the people involved but history itself. (The title comes from the quote: “A flap of a butterfly’s wing has the potential to set off a tornado a thousand miles away…a chain reaction known as The Butterfly Effect”.

If you like that idea, implausible though it is in this context, I urge you to read the Ray Bradbury short story with the same title about a time traveller who steps out of a boundary zone when he travels back in time and steps on and kills a butterfly in a restricted area and how that one act changes the world. That will hopefully have a chain reaction of you wanting to read more Bradbury books and makes far more sense).

In the style of the film, this review is taken from two time zones. The review that I thought I’d end up writing when I found out Ashton Kutcher was the star is marked *

The review I actually ended up writing is marked **

*
This is a very strange movie to come out of Hollywood. If it were French and didn’t star someone who is to acting what seawater is to a man adrift on the ocean dying of thirst, then I’m sure it would be taken more seriously. It’s a waste of a great title and the plot and acting as a whole are as femur as the wings of the insect itself. If this were a butterfly, I’m sure it would want to crawl back into its cocoon and hide, wishing it were a caterpillar, never to be released.

As we know, a butterfly only lives one day, which is more time than this trash will stay in your memory.

6 out of 6 stars
**
This is a very strange movie to come out of Hollywood. Although it’s a popcorn American movie it has many dark scenes that you really don’t expect to see in a vehicle starring a current teen heart throb and famous toy boy. However, this dark tone is not as surprising as the fact that Ashton Kutcher is really great in his role(s). He shows real diversity and brings character to all of the different lives and personalities his role gives to him. He’s a toff, a ladies man, a dweeb, a jock and a cripple and is believable in all of them. The plot enables him to have several lead roles in one movie, all of which are better than any of the characters he’s played in several previous movies. He has superb support from Amy Smart, Elden Henson and William Lee Scott who also bring to life their own characters as they follow the different paths and the different personalities they became after Kutcher’s time travelling antics change there lives and fates several times over 117 minutes.

Although this is sometimes contrived (several scenes made the audience laugh at the sheer immaturity of some of the script) and the last 5 minutes spoil what had been a great false ending, it’s still totally enjoyable and great for the Easter Holidays although it’s take on “all our actions effect those around us” message is perhaps more of a Christmas idea. However, this is a story of several not so ‘Wonderful Lifes’ but for the modern teen audience it’s an agreeable diversion, better than going to the mall, but I doubt it will change their lives. On the other hand….

Dr Kuma’s verdict: Great fun, I just wish the scriptwriter would go back in time and rewrite the ending.

4 out of 6 stars

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