(R) 1 star
You’ve heard of the Butterfly Effect, right? Well, for those who haven’t, here’s an explanation. Sometime in the summer or early fall, movie studio execs wave their wings. Mysteriously, films slated for the end of the year are pushed past the holiday blockbusterfest and into January.
After seeing The Butterfly Effect, I’m wishing there were one extra month in the year. Let’s call it Crapuary. Squeeze it between, say, December and January, and shove movies like The Butterfly Effect into it. Then, jettison Crapuary into a space-time continuum where we don’t have to see it or the films it contains.
I’m referring, of course, to the same space-time continuum that punks poor Evan (Ashton Kutcher). Kutcher’s starring role in this film indicates he’s trying to branch out from his comedic roles and start stretching his talents into new genres, such as the genre of idiocy.
The first act of the film focuses on childhood experiences of the main protagonists. They suffer through horrific tragedies: pedophile fathers, sadistic kids, sharp objects plunging into flesh. Billy clubs that break skulls, creating the predictable puddle of blood pooling beneath the cracked cranium. Evan, our protagonist, later to be embodied by Kutcher, experiences blackouts, and so he misses some of the more heinous moments of his beleaguered childhood. Lucky him.
As the narrative moves forward in time, the film gathers more barnacles of misfortune: a dead infant, a dog in a burlap bag set afire. Are we having fun yet? By the time Kutcher actually appears in the film — it seems like hours — you’re so benumbed by the befuddling and hard-hearted story that it doesn’t really matter.
Even then, the film has to meander through more machinations before we finally get to the time travel component. At that point, all I could think about was wishing I had the ability to go back in time and pick a different film to see.
The one star rating is for the scene where the children go to see David Fincher’s Se7en. The filmmakers, co-writers and co-directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber at least had the temerity to remind us that good movies exist — and can be rented any month of the year. Happy Crapuary.