DVD Review: The Butterfly Effect 2
By Patrick Luce Oct 12, 2006, 15:50 GMT
Sequel to the 2003 cult movie in which a person can change the past via remembering their forgotten memories due to blackouts. ...more
The Butterfly Effect 2 is yet another example of a film that is simply a quickie follow-up to a movie that didn’t really need a sequel in the first place. There is nothing wrong with the movie, but it is simply a repeat of what was covered in the first Butterfly Effect.
The straight to DVD sequel stars Eric Lively (who replaces Ashton Kutcher as a man who discovers he can alter his reality), and Erica Durance (Smallville) as the love he loses and then spends the rest of the film trying to get back. It was directed by John R. Leonetti (who brought us the classic 1997 film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation) and was written by Michael D. Weiss (the man responsible for penning the I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer screenplay).
Ok, The Butterfly Effect 2 (which actually has nothing to do with the first film other than following its formula) kicks off with us meeting the happy couple Nick (Lively) and Julie (Durance). They are on a camping trip with another couple and are obviously very much in love. Julie is about to drop a surprise on Nick, but gets interrupted by a business phone call. Nick is part of a start-up company, and has to return to work. Naturally, this leads to a tragic car crash where Julie dies.
However, Nick, now plagued with bad migraines that cause nose bleeds at all the wrong times, soon discovers that he can alter his reality simply by staring at a picture and thinking really hard. First, Nick skips back to the accident to save the life of Julie and discovers that they now have a new life together. This life is far from perfect since Nick loses his job, and Julie resents her choice not to move to New York to go to school.
This prompts Nick to look at another picture and once again alter his reality. After staring real hard and making all kinds of facial grimaces, Nick awakes to find that he is now the VP at his place of employment, and also appears to be rich. He also discovers he is having an affair with the boss’ daughter (after a sudden nookie scene in a restaurant bathroom), and that Julie is no longer in his life. Apparently, she didn’t like the rich and business driven Nick that had no time for her and was nailing anything with a heartbeat.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nick also discovers that the company is broke (if it’s broke how is Nick rich?), and that one of the investors wants his money back. Instead of taking the company to court, the investor kills Nick’s best friend to make a point. Nick tries once again to look at a picture, but is knocked unconscious. He wakes in bed (with some creepy guy??), and finally figures out that no matter how many times he goes back he is always going to be screwed. This leads us to the film’s ending – which is extremely predictable to anyone who watched the first film.
While the first Butterfly Effect may not have been the best movie ever made, it was at least entertaining, and even somewhat original. Sadly, The Butterfly Effect 2 is not entertaining and is no where near original. The problem with the movie is that it follows the first film’s formula so closely that it is pretty much boring from start to finish.
The audience never has to get invested in Nick or the different “realities” that he is jumping to because we know he is only going to be there a few minutes. The story never gets any tension or suspense because we pretty much already know how the film is going to end.
The actors do a good enough job to make the characters believable, but who really cares? The story isn’t there. The movie is obviously just cashing in on the first film’s somewhat success (it cost $13 million to make and earned about $57 million) without having any real reason for being made or offering fans of the first film a plot worth watching.
The DVD special features include commentary from the director and co-producer Michael Stirling; “Altering Reality: On the Set of The Butterfly Effect 2” – which is a standard “making of” featurette.
I was surprised by the first film, and enjoyed it. I have seen it several times, and it still holds up. While it had some problems, the first movie was entertaining, had original moments, and a good ending that you might not have seen coming. This straight to DVD sequel has none of those qualities and instead is simply a waste of time.