The Butterfly Effect (2004)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 2004.  BenderSpink, FilmEngine, Katalyst Films, Province of British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit.   Screenplay by J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A little boy survives his best friend’s pedophile father, a prank by his bullying pal that results in murder, and blackouts that get him sent to the same psychiatric institute for testing where his insane father now lives. As a grown college student, now played by , he discovers that he has the ability, while reading the many journals he wrote as a child, to travel back in time to when certain memories occurred and change the course of the future. He makes an attempt to reverse the course of abuse that he and his friend (now grown up and played by ) suffered, but the result makes trouble in a different aspect of his life. Not one to give up, he continues to try and rewrite the past only to discover different things going wrong every time, while the film’s ratty screenplay does very little to explain how he’s doing it in the first place (sure, he’s got a special brain, but as it’s Ashton Kutcher playing him we’re going to need something more to go on). Despite being a terrible film with a host of terrible performances (except for the wonderful as Kutcher’s loving mother), it’s strangely captivating:  you know it’s total bullshit but you just have to see how it turns out. That has to count for something, I suppose.

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