The Butterfly Effect (2004)

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Connections: The Butterfly Effect

Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: July 17, 2004
The Butterfly Effect is the premise of the chaos theory, which states that everything you do in life has a direct or indirect consequence; for example, a butterfly flapping its wings can result in a huge typhoon halfway across the world. That's the basis for our movie here. As a child, Evan Treborn was prone to sudden blackouts, which would last for a matter of minutes and leave him clueless as to what transpired during that time frame. His doctor recommended that he start keeping a journal and writing down everything he does, so that he can look back on it later in case he forgets something. An accident of occurs involving Evan and his friends Lenny, Kayleigh, and her brother Tommy, which has different effects on all of them. Later on in life, as a young adult, Evan looks back on these journal entries and finds out that he can travel back in time to change minor things that occurred in his past... but changing one small detail that happened years ago can result in huge changes throughout the course of his and his friend's lives.

This certainly was an interesting film that shocked me with the overall quality. I've been interested in the chaos theory for quite some time, and when I saw that this movie dealt with just that, I was expecting a Hollywood'ized version of it which would be dumbed down for the masses. That was not to be here, as the general principles of the theory are accurately displayed throughout the film. Of course, time-travel isn't part of the theory, but that did make the viewing experience a bit more interesting for the most part. The storyline presented here was pretty linear and straightforward, presenting itself as thought-provoking and interesting, though not being overly complex and confusing. While I think that they put a tad bit too much emphasis on keeping it from being complex and confusing, it didn't hurt things in the long run. Also, the ending may seem a bit corny and lame at first viewing, but it did make sense if you bought into the whole storyline leading up to it... and if you didn't buy into the events leading up to the end, then you wouldn't have enjoyed the movie regardless of the ending. Funny how that works out, huh?

Ashton Kutcher (Evan) did a surprisingly nice job in the lead role of this movie. I had low expectations from "the Punk'd guy", but he pulled out a solid performance in each of his scenes throughout the film. His childhood friends also pulled out some nice performances, as each had to radically change their role and attitude numerous times throughout the movie, and did so with few flaws. Amy Smart (Kayleigh), who plays the second lead role, is great in each of her incarnations... the depressed version, prep-girl, prostitute, and normal version were each played out very convincingly, which was certainly no easy task for one film. William Lee Scott (Tommy) is also pretty nice for the most part, though he did seem a bit out of place as the preppy version... he didn't seem quite right in that role, though thankfully, it didn't last long. Elden Henson (Lenny) would be the worst of the crew by comparison, though he did alright when not being compared to the rest of the cast. As a side-note, Ethan Suplee (Evan's obese roommate Thumper) was also pretty damned entertaining in his scenes, though he had a very minor role throughout the course of the film. They should have fit more scenes with him in somewhere, if only for the dreaded comedic relief.

Overall, a refreshingly nice take on the time-travel film from our pals over in Hollywood, and definitely worth the viewing. 8/10 from myself.
Clarence Bodicker #1: Clarence Bodicker - added July 30, 2004 at 2:27am
Surprisingly good movie. I was expecting trash and I was totally wrong.
WinterMercy #2: WinterMercy - added August 3, 2004 at 9:51am
The first time I watched this movie I enjoyed it. Upon a second viewing, I prefered to pay less attention. By the third view, I didn't want to look at it.

It was good, to say the least, but I just can't stand this movie because the guy made so many dumb decisions (or at least decisions that I wouldn't've made). It rememds me of why I hated Charlie Brown, The Wonder Years, and other various movies and TV shows with an underdeveloped child character playing lead.

I suggest you all see it anyway, because it's an incredible movie with a great plot. I loved it.
turn the radio off #3: turn the radio off - added August 7, 2004 at 5:36am
i too thought it was good the first time i saw it but after reviewing it again... the taste has soured and i find it boring. Just a rental. don't buy it
compoundwhore #4: compoundwhore - added August 18, 2004 at 5:09am
I was expecting Ashton Kutcher to totally ruin this movie, but he actually wasn't bad. It was a good movie. But if he'd told the guy to be nice to both his kids, not jsut the girl, everything would have been fine.
Schillinger #5: Schillinger - added August 22, 2004 at 3:06am
I hate Ashton Kutcher, but this was suprisingly good. Though I didn't like the way they changed realities so much...makes you kind of lose hope halfway through the film.
firegod000 #6: firegod000 - added September 8, 2004 at 6:15am
kind of a depressing movie, but interesting nonetheless, people of most age groups should enjoy this movie.
smilesallround #7: smilesallround - added September 8, 2004 at 11:01pm
i really loved this movie but when i got the dvd the ending was different! and that really wrecked the movie for me!
Crispy #8: Crispy - added September 9, 2004 at 6:55pm
lol, Schillinger changing realities was kind of the whole concept of the movie man
wikkidpiggykilla #9: wikkidpiggykilla - added December 10, 2004 at 8:41am
this a fucked up flick thats about all i can say about good movie but its fuckin twiztid
Optimus Prime #10: Optimus Prime - added December 27, 2004 at 8:20pm
Great movie that is never boring. It's pretty messed up and the ending is alright.
Symx #11: Symx - added February 4, 2005 at 6:53pm
This film was way better than I thought it was gonna be.
craig makepeace #12: craig makepeace - added May 29, 2005 at 12:55pm
this is a top movie, really one of my favourites, it really makes you think about the choices you make in eveeryday life, very well done.
crAckerr #13: crAckerr - added July 24, 2005 at 9:42pm
Ya i must say i did not expect this film to be nearly as good as it was.
Emily #14: Emily - added September 22, 2005 at 2:59am
Great movie. I just loved it. Usually I'm not one for movies that make you think, as dumb as that may sound. I use movies for an enterntainment purpose, and usually I'm not entertained by a thought-provoking film. I did love The Butterfly Effect though. Very good movie.
bluemeanie #15: bluemeanie - added October 18, 2005 at 9:55pm
Ashton Kutcher, the actor. That's very much like Anne Frank, the go-go dancer, isn't it. EEEEEEEEK. 3/10.
ScarsRstarS #16: ScarsRstarS - added January 10, 2006 at 7:46am
Love this film. One of my all time favs
Kezia Vadimas #17: Kezia Vadimas - added July 13, 2008 at 9:33am
I thought it really blew! It was slow and the story line was awful, it had a good premise, but it didn't go anywhere. The ending was stupid, it was like the writers fell asleep about the same time I did. I like Ashton Kutcher, but he was not believable, maybe he should stick to comedy. 2/10 never to haunt my screen again!
Ginose #18: Ginose - added September 25, 2008 at 3:21pm
Felt like a shitty adaptation of "The Time Machine"... a really shitty one... had to go re-read that book after watching this, just to make sure it was a proper parallel... I don't mind Kutcher as long as he's playing roles he's good at, here, he just made me understand why he wasn't in the second one... 2.5/10 for the small bits of gore and children brutalizing one another...
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