Time travel movies are guilty pleasures for a certain kind of moviegoer. Ever since seeing actors like Jimmy Stewart running through the snowy streets like a madman in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, movie audiences have shown a remarkable appetite for plot lines that allow them to see their heroes to go back and forth in time monkeying with their fates until the inevitable lesson is learned.
You can’t change the past only your future, and if you’re Ashton Kutcher jumping through time can have an adverse effect on you scruffy facial hair styling, if not your entire career. Kutcher, can be compared to the fellow time traveling surfer dude Keanu Reeves and he may have been hoping to duplicate ‘Bill and Ted’ type of success but instead of going with a wacky up tempo comedy time travel movie, Kutcher may find his wings pinned to the board after ‘the Butterfly Effect’ sinks in.
The creative duo of J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress fresh from milking the ‘Final Destination’ idea by rehashing it in ‘Final Destination 2’, keep their heads in what if wonderland with ‘The Butterfly Effect’. The vicious vein that fuels ‘the Butterfly Effect’s’ story sours the cinema once more and crosses the line of spine tingling fun to sick and disturbing images of violence against children and animals.
In an ironic moment includes a scene of the characters as teenagers in the early nineties who after committing a horrible crime, walk right in to a screening of the R-Rated film about serial killing –‘Seven’. Again, we all know these horrors exist but do we need have them so spelled out for us? It’s one thing to see some crazy movie monster in a mask doing their thing; it’s another when it’s a neighborhood paperboy who looks like he will kill your dog if you don’t have the week’s subscription due.
Kutcher may be trying to outgrow Kelso’s shoes but the warmth of Wisconsin in the Seventies might prove to be his staple cheese if he can’t grow into another role that suits him better.
For Movie Magazine this is Purple
© 2004 - Purple - Air Date: 1/28/04
The Butterfly Effect
USA - 2004