The Butterfly Effect (Eric Bress & J. Mackye Gruber, 2004)

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Genre: Thriller
Rating: 3/5 stars

Without the concept, this film would fail. While the concept isn’t realistic, the plot definitely is thorough by going through many different scenarios or storylines, which I truly find intriguing enough to keep me entertained.
The main issue with the movie is pacing. The story tends to jump from one year to another a lot in the beginning. It’s certainly important to give backstory, but 45 minutes of just pure backstory isn’t reasonable and it losses many people in that long time span. However, there was a stand still and slow pacing while we were in the main character’s pre-teen years in the same 45 minute time span. After the pre-teen years, we finally are in the “present” with our main character’s portrayal led by Ashton Kutcher. And quite honestly, the child actors did a better job in 45 minutes than Ashton Kutcher did with a whole hour.
Furthermore, in regards to pacing, the pacing starts to find a rhythm about an hour into the film, and then near the end, the rhythm is completely lost. The last 15 minutes felt like the entire plot and story sped up twice as fast. I think because the film’s rhythm isn’t concrete from the beginning, mostly due to the writing and editing, this film definitely didn’t hit the cues well with the actors and therefore made it difficult to take the concept seriously.
The set design and cinematography were really nice for an early 2000s movie. As the concept itself is a bit difficult to grasp, I think it’s entertaining enough just by simply going through all these “what if” scenarios that anyone could get through the movie and enjoy the unique storylines in each plot. The biggest issues are with pacing and crummy acting, but the concept is unique enough that I say, go watch it.

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