With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage - a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.
In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.
Evan Treborn grows up in a small town with his single, working mother and his friends. He suffers from memory blackouts where he suddenly finds himself somewhere else, confused. Evan's friends and mother hardly believe him, thinking he makes it up just to get out of trouble. As Evan grows up he has fewer of these blackouts until he seems to have recovered. Since the age of seven he has written a diary of his blackout moments so he can remember what happens. One day at college he starts to read one of his old diaries, and suddenly a flashback hits him like a brick! Written by
Ashton Kutcher did extensive research on psychology, mental disorders, and chaos theory to prepare for his role in this film. See more »
When Evan and his mother visit the fortuneteller in the Director's Cut, she says that Evan has no "lifeline" and should therefore not exist. In the scene that follows where Evan and his mother sit outside the fortune-teller's Evan's "lifeline" is clearly visible in his palm. See more »
[reading aloud as he writes a note]
If anyone finds this, it means my plan didn't work and I'm already dead. But if I can somehow go back to the beginning of all of this, I might be able to save her.
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The title, "The Butterfly Effect," is superimposed over a depiction of a butterfly beating its wings, which is itself superimposed upon an X-ray profile of a human brain. See more »
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT- THEATRICAL CUT (4 outta 5 stars)
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT- DIRECTOR'S CUT (3+ outta 5 stars)
Now normally I tend to prefer movies that let the writer/director tell the story that they want to without having to water it down for mass consumption. In this case I have to say that the ending they they were forced to re-shoot for the theatrical release of this movie is a much more emotional, resonant and appropriate ending than the bleak, cold and grotesque finale they had originally planned. On the US DVDs you get the choice of which version to see (foreign editions only have the less compelling director's version)... so North American viewers can make up their own mind about which ending they prefer. I would suggest watching the theatrical cut first... and then check out the director's cut... which would you prefer to think of as the "real" ending?
As for the movie itself... don't be put off by the idea of Ashton Kutcher in the lead role. He does quite a good job in a serious part quite different from his usual TV persona. He plays a college student who, having been plagued by mental blackouts all his life, devotes himself to the study of human memory. Eventually he finds that by re-reading old journal entries he can will himself back in time to experience the events he had blacked out... and even CHANGE THEM using the knowledge that his older self possesses. Unfortunately one small change in the past causes some HUGE ramifications in his present day world. Can't say too much more about the plot without giving away the many fun surprises. Believable performances and a basic seriousness give the film an urgency that is sometimes missing in modern fantasy films of this type.
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