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The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Directed by Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Melora Walters, Amy Smart

Hmmmm. What to say about this?
How about "Good, but not great."
The Butterfly Effect has an interesting premise: a young man (Ashton Kutcher) discovers that he can send himself back in time by concentrating on pictures or narrative from earlier in his life (he keeps a journal), and then can zip back to the present. He tries to make things better for himself and his friends in the present day by going back in time and "fixing" certain things that they had done to screw themselves up; basically he tries to unmake some bad choices. Predictably, everything he tries ends up having consequences that are even worse than what had gone before. In the end, he finds that a personal sacrifice must be made for the greater good.

Since I loathe Punk'd, and generally have little or no respect for Kutcher, I wasn't expecting much from this outing, but I found that Kutcher is surprisingly good in this, as is the rest of the cast. Unfortunately, the script, direction and editing, while workable, are certainly not inspired, although there are some pretty funny bits (the stigmata sequence should go down as a classic).

Be forewarned, however: the director's cut has a ridiculous ending that drops my rating by an entire star, and sends the movie into territory. The theatrical ending is much more satisfying and believable.