The Butterfly Effect Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber

The Butterfly Effect Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber
The Butterfly Effect is named for a part of chaos theory that basically says that a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a typhoon halfway across the world. In other words, even the smallest action generates a series of repercussions that can lead to big things. This is the main idea explored in this sci-fi thriller and it's a pretty decent concept. Evan (Logan Lerman as a kid, John Patrick Amedori as a teenager and Ashton Kutcher as the grown man) suffers from blackouts during traumatic events in his life, and his childhood is filled with trauma. When studying psychology in college, Evan figures out a way to access his former self in the moment of these blackouts and redirect the events of his past to avoid the bad stuff. Of course, each well-intentioned change Evan makes to the past alters the future in ways he never dreamed of, so he has to keep going back to try to make things better. While the core idea is pretty cool, the "science" that the film tries to employ to back it up is laughably bad, with countless implausible scenarios and plot holes you could drive a truck though. What the movie does well though is take its time in setting up its back story and core group of characters compellingly, making Evan's later determination to alter the past believable and even honourable. Ashton Kutcher is surprisingly credible in his first non-brain dead leading role, adding a touch of humour to his character's discoveries that is mostly a welcome addition, although it sometimes goes too far and becomes incongruous with the more serious plot elements. The film's ending is way too abrupt however, which is a disappointment after such a careful set-up, but the ride along the way has its moments. (Alliance Atlantis)