The Butterfly Effect 2 (2006) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Nick Larson discovers a supernatural way to alter his life and travel back in time to key moments in his life by looking at photographs.

  • Nick Larson and his best friends Trevor Eastman and Amanda are celebrating the twentieth-fourth birthday of his girlfriend Julie Miller in a beautiful lake on a Sunday morning. Nick is expecting to be promoted in the company where he works, and Julie is planning to move to his place instead of going to New York for her Master degree. However, Nick is called by his colleague Dave Bristol, who is disputing the promotion with Nick, for a meeting with a client. While on the road, Nick has an accident and Julie and his friends die. One year later, Nick finds that he can travel in time and tries to fix the past, with tragic consequences for the future.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Julie Miller (Erica Durance) and her boyfriend, Nick Larson (Eric Lively), are celebrating Julie's 24th birthday on a camping trip with another couple, Trevor Eastman (Dustin Milligan) and Amanda (Gina Holden). Nick and Julie walk away from the campsite for a bit of privacy, and she begins to tell him something important but he interrupts her with her birthday present. They begin to discuss their future together, with Nick telling her that his job will make him successful enough for the both of them, and he asks her not to move to New York to pursue her photography. Nick is called away by work before Julie can tell him her important news. He says that he has to go to the meeting, even though it is Sunday, because he is up against co-worker Dave Bristol (David Lewis) for a promotion. The four friends have to cut their trip short and drive back to the city in Nick's SUV. Julie is taking photographs while Nick is driving. When she unbuckles her seatbelt to snap a picture of Trevor and Amanda kissing in the backseat, the tire suddenly blows out and the SUV spins out of control, finally stalling in the middle of the road where a semi-truck smashes into them.

    Nick lies in a hospital bed unconscious, having flashbacks of the accident, when he appears to start seizing. At his side is his mother, who informs the nurse that he is having one of his nightmares, an occasional occurrence since childhood. He awakens to learn the others did not survive the crash.

    Back home, Nick grieves over memories of Julie's birthday, and he brings the birthday necklace he gave her to the scene of the accident (where a roadside memorial has been built). Later while looking at a photograph of himself and Julie, everything in the room begins to shudder and shake, while the people and the dog in the photograph begin moving. This effect is similar to the pre-timetravel effect in the first movie, but Nick drops the framed picture on the floor where it shatters and he does not travel through time.

    One year later, Nick is shown back at his job with Bristol as his supervisor (he obviously got the aforementioned promotion over Dave). Bristol treats Nick with no respectpretending he can't find the work that Nick stayed late the previous night to finish and making him redo the work, moving an important meeting where Nick is to present a sales pitch without telling Nick until the last moment, and snapping at Nick about his supposed messy desk. While presenting the sales pitch to investors for his company's "nextgen software for handhelds", Nick begins to get another slight episode of his environment becoming unstable and rattling after seeing an old photograph which includes Trevor. This ruins his sales pitch and he is called in to meet with the company's boss, Ron (Andrew Airlie), and given a week's suspension.

    Back home, Nick is looking at photographs from Julie's 24th birthday when he comes across a picture of him driving everyone home. He transports back to the moments just before the tire blew. He yells at Julie to buckle-up, and the tire blows as before, but this time they manage to avoid the semi-truck, running into a tree instead.

    Nick awakens on the floor in a new shirt. Julie is now living with him, and he is pleasantly surprised to see her. It is her 25th birthday and they go out to dinner where he tells her that he remembers the past year differently. Trevor and Amanda arrive, and Nick gives them both a hug, pleased to see them. He learns that they are going to marry, and he is Trevor's best man, in charge of the bachelor party.

    The next day at work, Nick is researching on-line, trying to determine why he doesn't remember the last year in the same manner as everyone else. He prints out an article about a mental hospital patient with a syndrome that appears to be similar to what he has been experiencing. The patient is Jason Treborn, Evan Treborn's (Ashton Kutcher) father in the first movie.

    At a staff meeting, he learns that Trevor has been fired. When Nick accuses his supervisor of using Trevor as a scapegoat for a sales deal that fell through, he too is fired. Julie is angry with him, reminding him that she could have moved to New York if not for him. Now she has a minimum wage job, and she refers to what they lost from the accident. Nick tells her he understands now what is important in life: that they both are together.

    Later, Nick sees a Christmas photograph of him, his friends, and his supervisor, Dave, on the fridge. He takes a closer look at the photo while venting some frustration. An episode (his environment becoming unstable and rattling) is triggered, and suddenly he has gone into the photo's scene and he is at the party. Nick sees Dave, fakes tripping so he is able to spill wine on him, and then goes to Dave's file cabinet and steals the file of a specific investor (earlier Nick mentioned Dave got his promotion off the work Nick did).

    Nick is suddenly in an alternate timeline where he is now the vice-president of the company. He phones Julie, getting her answering machine, with her message revealing she owns a local photography studio. Nick leaves her a message to meet him that night after he finishes a sale pitch meeting. Nick gives a successful pitch at the meeting, and he learns he is having an affair with the boss' daughter when she follows him into the men's toilets. She uses Nick's handheld to take a photograph of him kissing her.

    When Nick gets back to his place, Trevor is waiting to tell him that a deal with a shady investor named Malcolm is in trouble. Nick tells his friend he will fix things, and then asks about Julie. Trevor replies that he has not kept in touch with her since Nick broke up with her a few months back.

    Nick learns the next day at work that the sales pitch to the investor the previous night did not go through. He relays to Ron, his boss, that Malcolm wants his investment money back. His boss informs him the company is broke, and it is Nick's fault. Nick was unable to get a crucial investor several months ago, the one from the file he stole at Christmas from Dave (who was able to secure the investment in a previous timeline). Nick continues his attempts to contact Julie.

    Nick and Trevor are at Malcolm's nightclub to discuss matters with him when Nick spots Julie taking photographs of the fashion show. She wants nothing to do with him and has a new boyfriend. Nick tells Malcolm he is unable to return the money, and Malcolm has Trevor killed. Nick runs out of the room being shot at, when a stray bullet hits Julie and she dies. Nick attempts to escape using the photo taken earlier by the boss' daughter, but he fails and is knocked out and captured. Nick wakes up and finds he is being given fellatio, only to discover that it is Malcolm's gay business partner.

    Nick escapes trouble and goes back in time where he confesses everything to his mom. She tells him his father also tried to control things and committed suicide in the end. Nick meets with Amanda who has with her a photograph from Julie's 24th birthday, which he had asked her to bring.

    Nick transports to the scenes from the start of the movie. He tells Julie she should move to New York and breaks up with her. Julie tells him she is having his baby, but he remains with his back to her and doesn't respond. Upset, Julie takes his SUV and speeds down the road. Nick then steals a jeep from another camping couple. Nick chases after her in the jeep and pulls alongside her (in the wrong lane) to urge her to stop the SUV. When an oncoming vehicle approaches in the lane, Nick drives off the road and over the edge of the cliff, presumably dying.

    One year later. Julie lives in New York with her son, Nick junior. Nick junior has a slight episode of his environment becoming unstable and rattling while looking at the 24th birthday photograph of his parents and their friends, which is left in a changed state.

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