“The Butterfly Effect” is a rather ludicrous hybrid of two very good movies “Donnie Darko”, and “Frequency” and what results is the bastard child of the two. It’s a pretty dumb and utterly pretentious jumbled drama that is never sure what it’s trying to say, or what in fact it means. Is it a tragedy? Drama? Thriller? Science Fiction? Fractured Romance? Does the butterfly effect really apply to this, or is that theory just used as a plot device for this? I was never really sure, but what I was sure of is that this definitely is none of the more complex dimensions.
Instead it’s just more like a really long practice in human misery, and cruelty than anything else. “The Butterfly Effect” uses its concept more as a mere plot device rather than a narrative to revolve around. If “The Butterfly Effect” revolved around the concept of the actual theory for the purposes of the story, examining it further, dealing with the mass complexities, and at least practicing in originality, this may have been such a good movie, but instead it never deals with the actual theory. Instead it just proceeds in dealing out themes and contexts that reminded me a lot of snuff film, and most of which I felt were just shown for shock value on the writers part to keep the audience cringing.
Many times the events are so ridiculous you can almost hear the screenwriter manipulating the audience for shock value including one scene when the kids stuff a large firecracker in a mailbox as a prank, and it just happens to go off at the “right moment” which you’ll see. It’s a scene that I’m sure was intended for people to gasp in shock and cover their eyes, but from where I sat, it was just so darn ridiculous. “The Butterfly Effect” is not an intelligent film though it deals with fascinating themes. It’s still just a really one-dimensional quasi-thriller with nothing going for it.