The Butterfly Effect
January 23, 2004
On the Big Board
||Child pornography, child molestation and child abuse. No, it's not the Michael Jackson trial.
||Better than it deserved to be.
||Admirable attempt that just didn't work for me
Ashton Kutcher stars in this thriller about 20-year-old Evan Treborn, who has been unable to remember the most important events of his life ever since his childhood. At seven years of age, his mother found him standing in the doorway of the kitchen with a butcher knife, but he is unable to remember how he got there or his reasoning for doing so. Similarly, he had finger-painted an eerie message reading "Kill me before it's too late" but has no memory of doing so. Evan's mother is obsessive-compulsive, and his father had similar losses of memory before going completely mad, so doctors advise that Evan should keep a journal to keep his memory exercised every day.
Now Evan is a top-notch college student who has put the blackouts of the past behind him. But when he brings a girl to his dorm room and gets drunk before reading some of his old journals, he passes out with dreams about exactly what he was reading. When he awakens, he realizes that he can not only relive the past, he can also change it. He can return back in time to occupy his childhood body and change history; however, when he returns to the present, he discovers that the future has been altered with some unanticipated and chilling outcomes.
The Butterfly Effect is one of several recent movies to explore the Chaos Theory, a concept whose foundation is set in the notion that the flutter of a butterfly's wings can set off a tornado in Texas. As the movie illustrates, the smallest events can create tremendous disruptions and unexpected results for future circumstances.
Debut directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber (who also wrote the screenplay) describe the film as a "Back to the Future-type premise" that includes heavier elements such as prison rape, pedophilia and child pornography. In fact, it took the pair a long time to get the film into production because the script was so dark.
Kutcher is currently best known for his comedic roles as he gained fame in the Fox TV series That '70s Show and has since gone on to star in goofy projects such as Dude, Where's My Car? and Just Married. His role in The Butterfly Effect is a serious departure from what audiences have come to expect from him, and it may be difficult to gain wide acceptance in such a role. Marketing will be very important in establishing his credibility, and they do have an intriguing story as a jumping off point, so it will be fascinating to see what approach New Line takes. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Comparison films for The Butterfly Effect
|Final Destination 2
|I Know What You Did Last Summer
|Murder By Numbers
|Urban Legend: The Final Cut