Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Butterfly Effect 3 (2009)

Time traveling isn't for winners

A man looks on as an observer in the distance as a woman is savagely murdered near a playground area that she took her boy to. He's transported back to present time in an icy bathtub with the help of his sister Jenna. Currently Sam is commissioned by the police department as a resident "psychic" that gives them accurate information that catches their guy to give the family closure. Everything is going fine until the sister of a woman named Rebecca Brown, the first girl he fell for, came by Sam with evidence in a diary that a man the sister was cheating on Sam with named Lonnie, who went to prison for her murder and has an upcoming execution, didn't actually kill her. Sounds simple: go back in time, stop the killer or just observe and get the charges lifted. Except there are consequential rules in place: never alter your own past or go unsupervised. One small misstep happens and he's already changed the past and created a murderer called the Pontiac Killer that he has to stop but keeps getting knocked back by random circumstance, not to mention the police who are now looking at him as a suspect the more he gets closer. He attempts to go to his sister and physics friend Goldburg for advice but they don't want him to get hurt or alter what already is despite his good intentions. Sam goes on his own through a series of trial and error that leads to frustration and confusion from overlapping events. He's digging a hole that keeps getting deeper and deeper and it becomes uncertain if he can ever can totally fix things and get out.

The story unfolds like a choose-a-new-path tale. The non-linear story mode keeps things intriguing and interesting to where it will go next. This causes some of the performers to change around their demeanor for their new time line. There are some built up dramatic moments, though with the pacing, this keeps itself on the move; luckily to its benefit since there are a few areas that if slowed down would have made the tumblers in your head start to work and question some of the inconsistencies and transitions from point A to B. The movie is somewhat shallow at points with drug use, pointless sex and over-the-top murders that you could care less about the victim at hand, though it's still steadily amusing nonetheless in a low-brow type of way. It's not a smart time travel film that goes on about analytical theory but as a thriller it goes into a number of different directions so as to keep your attention for what new twist of fate will occur. The big twist is somewhat obvious from being given too many clues too early on. The film plays on sensations, so the tone can be both grisly and then light in humor at other times to still keep it fun and not totally lurk in the horror realm. This deals with regret, sacrifice as well as letting go to give it a nice wrap up that probably won't stick with you. Although, the experience in the meantime goes by so succinctly that it's a simple and painless but still entertaining movie on the fly for those nothing-to-do, do-the-thinking-for-me days.

Rating: 6/10

Director: Seth Grossman (The Elephant King)
Stars: Chris Carmack, Rachel Miner, Kevin Yon
Link: IMDB

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