Retro Film Review | The Butterfly Effect

Change one thing, Change everything.

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Director: Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber

Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Elden Henson, William Lee Scott

Genre: Sci-fi/Thriller/Drama

Released: April 2004

I seem to remember that when this movie came out, the critics didn’t take to it, which I believe was more down to their feeling towards Kutcher and his acting ability and although he wasn’t exactly setting the world alight with what he was appearing in at that time, there were glimpses of the ability we are now seeing in The Ranch.

Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart in The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Evan (Kutcher) has become used to his frequent unexplained blackouts throughout his life, with every one of them seemingly falling at landmark moments. Now at college Evan realises that these blackouts are in fact moments that he can go back and change simply by reading his journal entries, unfortunately, every time he goes back into the past and tries to repair his past by making changes to his or his friends and families lives it ends up causing a different set of issues in the present.

One of the best ideas that filmmakers came up with was that although Evan retains his memories from his previous timelines, every time he changes something he is plagued with terrible seizures when twenty years of memories from the new timeline are added to his brain and thus if he goes into the past too much, his brain will eventually fail and he will die.

The copy of the film I watched was the director’s cut, which unlike the theatrical cut, is much darker and ends differently. If you prefer your films to end on a happy note and don’t like too much violence, then watch the theatrical version. Otherwise, watch the director’s cut: with an ending that feels more in keeping with the message of play with fire and you’ll get burnt.

If you liked: Edge of Tomorrow, Minority Report, The Cloverfield Paradox

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