Butterfly Effect

I saw the Butterfly Effect on video recently. I had heard good things about it so I was looking foreward to it. I wasn’t bad but it wasn’t worthy of recommendation IMO.

Things I find unbelievable in movies or inconsistant generally distract me out of the movie so here’s a few of the problems I had with the Butterfly Effect


(*) The biggest disappointment for me was the scene where he goes back in time to save the mom and baby from dying from the exploding mailbox. Clearly he was in control of himself. He already had experience with this time-travel like condition so there no excuse of being disoriented and yet completely out of character like a dumbass he walks right into the explosion. That made absolutely no sense and was clearly written just to for the consequences later.

(*) The scene where Lenny kills Tommy also seemed out of sink to me and while I could buy it, they never explained why he couldn’t just go back to that same point in time and replay it. Clearly all he needed to do was go back, not give Lenny a sharp object and say what he said to Tommy again to get him to stop. Same with the scene above. Go back, don’t walk like a dumbass straight into the explosion. Still, I’ll except that idea that he can only go back once to each location. That absolves this issue but not the one above.

(*) The scene where he goes back to elemetry school and punctures his hands. The inconsistancy is that THE FRIGGEN MOVIE IS CALLED THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. That means by the title of the movie a small change in anything should have a big effect on the future. Having changed the past in that scene he would no longer be standing in the prison since by “the Butterfly Effect” the effects would have propgated. He would have had to go to the hospital or at least the nurse changing his whole day back then, changing the reaction of his mom, changing how serious she would take the murder drawing, etc. etc.

Even more inconsistant through, in the “new” world, the world with his hands having scars, everyone would know him is the guy with scars on his hands. The cellmate would not have noticed the change. Coming back from his hand puncturing episode the cellmate would be like “ah, you’ve always had those scars, what’s your point?”.

(*) The final scene. Having established that he can only go back to times where he blanked out in childhood we have to except that somehow he had a blankout episode as a baby in the womb. In fact, in all other scenes he is only able to go back based on his memories but we are supposed to accept that he has memories of being in the womb? Yea, I know babies do remember stuff in the womb but they are not concrete memories enough to visualize actually being there of the kind he required in every other scene.

(*) If you haven’t seen Donnie Darko stop reading, more spoilers follow.

While the two movies are not THAT similar they do share a common resolution. In both movies the characters figure out that their death eariler in their life would have been best for everyone involved.

Donnie Darko is a slow creepy movie. It doesn’t have any real time travel etc but it also has a more arguable resolution. It’s only 30 days worth of effects he’s considering and we can except that his death at the beginning of those 30 days prevents many of the bad events that happen during those 30 days.

In Donnie Darko you can even assume that he has not choice, the 30 days of experiences is just for him to come to terms with his death.

With the Butterfly Effect though, it’s 20 years of effects. We don’t know his death would have really fixed anything. Although we are told they do he doesn’t get to know that, remember he only gets the new memories AFTER he gets back from an episode. As far as he gets to know because he wasn’t born mom gets massively depressed from a 3rd stillborn baby and commits suicide, Tommy and Kayleigh’s Mom’s new husband is child abuser, etc. etc. The point is, there is no way for him to know his death as a baby would actually have a positive outcome and if like in every other case he was wrong and it actually caused more problems, in this one case, he can’t go back and try to fix them again.

  • Caro

    I agree that there were a lot of inconsistencies in the movie and that he could have avoided a lot of the trouble if he had more common sense (not running directly towards the mailbox to warn the mom during the explosion).  But I really enjoyed the movie because of the overall message that it was trying to convey.  That your past should remain in your past and that you shouldn’t regret your actions or try to take things back.  The best thing to do is to move forward and try to do better.  I know this isn’t the only movie that gives that message, but I thought this movie did a good job of scaring you into believing it.  I also liked it because I found it very disturbing and so it evoked an emotional reaction, which is always good in movies because you don’t want to just sit there watching a movie and not feel anything.

  • whoremongrel

    wow, gotta disagree. and I’m a bonafide ashton kutcher hater. everything about that dude rubs me the wrong way. and that’s how I came to the film. but after about 15 minutes I realized, “whoa, there some meat to this film.” the film is good. it’s goodness sneak up on you too. there are so many things about this film that make you think it’s going to be lame. but then it delivers some great drama,action,sci fi. definitely an underrated film. no matter how much you want to hate kutcher, or qibble over science fact/fiction accuracy, the film is good.

  • The inconsistencies existed from the very beginning of Butterfly Effect. The blackouts were a direct result of his future self taking over his past self. The blackouts had always existed because his future self had always been going back to take control. That’s why time-travel does not work, but it’s the closest that any time-travel movie came to making some sense. The movie was worth seeing, but not worth owning or having on a favorite list.

    Donnie Darko, on the other hand, is an absolutely brilliant piece of work in more ways than one. It’s a mish mash of genres, and even brings debates science vs. god. Every detail of the story is carefully placed, to the point where even a slightly funny bit that seems brushed off of the shoulder is actually the point of the movie: “Donnie Darko? Sounds like a super-hero.” “How do you know I’m not?”

    The writer/director wrote the film at the age of 21, directed it at 25. His initial budget was only $10,000 USD. The final result is the best movie of all time, and was even re-released in theatres only 4 years after it debuted. Of course, it was a year of re-releases with Dr. Strangelove hitting the big screen again, which I think EVERYONE needs to see at least 5 times in their lifetime.

  • Aditya

    aha, but in butterfly effect ashton kutcher went back in time twice to the same point. He went to time when Tommy and Kayleigh’s dad was making the “blockbuster” , once saving Kayleigh from the suicide and the other time causing Kayleigh’s death.

    Now when he can travel twice to the same point, then he can experiment with lot of parameters and maybe succeed once!!

  • pettykimbrellaolcom

    Just so you know this movie is very very painful for mothers and fathers who have had stillborns, miscarriages, ectopics, ect. It seems that the thought of suicide may not occur only for the baby. I wish movie companies would put warnings on movies for the poor moms that have been through enough hell already. We have the money for viagra, but not to help out infertile couples. What the hell. I hate this movie.