Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

It is without hesitation that I can tell you that the original ‘Butterfly Effect’ was one my favorite films of 2004.  It was a wild, over the top romp that was a lot of fun, moved as if its ass was on fire and showed me that, given the right roles, Ashton Kutcher could possibly be a major movie star.  Note that movie stars shouldn’t be confused with great actors.  Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, are big time movie stars.  Not to say that they are poor actors, because they are not, but they are bigger than life personalities who tend to BE the movie as opposed to being part of it.  Pacino, Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, Robert DeNiro (before his present money grab) are all great actors who pop up in the occasional big movie, but are true actors who embody characters.  I don’t think Ashton will be a great actor, but dude has movie star written all over him.

That was a lot conversation that had nothing to do with sequel to ‘The Butterfly Effect’ called not surprisingly, ‘The Butterfly Effect 2’, mainly because there really isn’t a whole to talk about in this pointless sequel.  Actually it’s not really a sequel, but a second movie, as it has absolutely nothing to do with the first movie.

Eric Lively is Nick Larson, an upwardly mobile computer dude with a pretty girlfriend (Erica Durance) and a best friend (Dustin Milligan).  There is a car accident and everybody dies except Nick.  He’s sad, but waddayagonnado?  He moves on and works his computer job until he looks at a picture they took that fateful day.  His head hurts, his node bleeds, the camera shakes, he blacks out and shazaam!  He’s back at the lake.  He averts the accident and things are back to normal when he wakes up

from the blackout.  Things should be okay right?  Everybody’s alive and well and life is generally cool, but Nick decides to use his superpowers to steal a promotion and get a better job.  Now here’s an issue I have.  If all Nick wants is a sweeter ride and a fresher crib, then look at the date of the photo, find what the powerball was that week, THEN go back in time and play those damn numbers.  Instant millions bro.

The scope of ‘The Butterfly Effect 2’ was way too limited.  Kutcher’s character of Evan Treborn in the first film was concerned with saving lives, averting molestation, stopping the death of children.  It also spanned over the majority of Evan’s life from child to manhood.  That character was altruistic, attempting to make things better for others but steadily screwing things up for himself in the process.  Nick Larson, the main cat in this new picture, apparently just wants nicer stuff.  The time range stays with one year as well, which I assume was done due to budgetary constraints.  There is also a silly sub plot where a bad guy invests in the computer company for a lousy 250 grand, gets pissed off when he doesn’t quadruple his loot in 8 days, and then opens fire on everybody.  I don’t know much about investing, but even I’ve seen the commercial were they say ‘previous performance is not and indicator of future earnings.  Please don’t shoot us should you lose a few bucks.’  The bad guys partner then apparently forces some anal loving on an unconscious Nick.  Yeah, now it’s time to find a photo and undo that b.s. Nick.  For Real.  Unless, of course, you’re down with that kind of thing.

Bland would my best description of ‘The Butterfly Effect 2’.  There’s no humor, there’s a minimal amount of action, and the plotting is fairly thin.  Star Eric Lively, alas, isn’t nearly magnetic or charismatic enough to carry the film on his own.  Its not that he’s particularly bad in it, he’s just not a very interesting character and as such no one cares about what he does or what happens to him.  The main thing ‘The Butterfly Effect 2’ had going for it was that it was brief.

During the ‘making of’ featurette on the DVD director Joe Leonetti seemed visibly upset with what he was saddled with in making the film.  He was given twenty days to shoot, and a script had to be altered on the fly due to environmental and cost concerns.  His frustration was evident in the final product.  ‘The Butterfly Effect 2’ wasn’t a bad movie or a good movie, just an inconsequential one that seemed a waste of time for those making it and ultimately a waste of time for those of us that watched it.

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