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
** SPOILERS **
(*) 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.