I watched this before, but didn't really get it, and upon second viewing (real Déjà vu), I kind of do!!!
~~~DVD BOX COVER DESIGN~~~
The DVD cover features the face of Denzel Washington, the ferry explosion and Paula Patton; and has an overall dark green, moody colour scheme. It works well to intrigue and grab attention- but looks very much like any other thriller, and could've been an alternative cover to Speed 2 or a modern day Titanic adaptation...
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
A ferry explodes in New Orleans and is decided to be a terrorist attack. Agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) investigates the scene, and is chosen to be part of a surveillance team, using technology that can view the past, exactly Four days, six hours and some seconds before. They only have one chance to look at the past as it contains way too much information, and the information comes from collected stream of video and audio surveillance technology. It is revealed later that it isn't just a surveillance mechanism, but an invisible bridge is formed between the past and the present, and that the past can perhaps be changed.
In this way the team is able to capture the bomber; all seems to be well but Agent Doug Carlin is not satisfied that all the people have died, and decides to alter the past. He sends himself back in time to make the changes necessary to change the day.
The physics of it is of course a load of rubbish, but accepting it for the sake of the film, there are still many questions that arise from the various parallel existances that will occur due to Agent Carlin's time travels. The solution (and explanation) to these alternate timelines can be found on the film's Wikipedia page, and upon seeing this visually really does aid to understand how it all worked.
Basically, only two timelines were shown in the film, but four existed, so without seeing the Wikipedia visual, most would be left confuzzled after the movie... and this also isn't addressed in the extra features.
Time skipping aside, the movie had lots of CSI-esque techniques and for crime thriller lovers, this is perhaps one for you, although the mix of sci-fi and technology might not help to confuse the average movie viewer. Nonetheless, there is enough action here to fuel any bored soul on a Saturday night, and at two hours long, the time passes quickly and effortlessly.
Denzel Washington- Agent Doug Carlin
Paula Patton- Claire Kuchever
Also stars Val Kilmer, Adam Goldberg, Elle Fanning (Dakota Fanning's sister) in a 2 second cameo and Bruce Greenwood.
Denzel Washington does a good job at being a detective, just like The Bone Collector. His calm, cool and collected persona works well again here, as well as cracking a few jokes here and there. He is also able to pull off the action scenes and is convincing as the overall "Hero".
Paula Patton doesn't do much at all, apart from be the victim from beginning to end. The film doesn't give her a lot of room to shine despite being the female lead, and is only till the end where she gets more action... atleast she got to hold a gun.
The DVD contains extended scenes and visual effects commentary... The film at 2 hours long does not really need those extended scenes, but for movie buffs, they'd like to see more of the movie...
One thing I have to criticise is that they didn't include a commentary or explanation to the timelines that exist in the story- the average person would not have been able to understand exactly how the alt-Doug's worked, and so it would've made this DVD SO much better instead of having people question and look on Wikipedia!
Overall the film was enjoyable. Having seen it twice, it definitely made more sense second time round, and having researched on Wikipedia how the plot and timelines really worked. Physics fallibility aside, there is great action and tension throughout and will excite and intrigue most people, if they don't get put off by the science jargon. The cast, led by Denzel Washington is mostly good, with Washington being the only one who really shines throughout. So for an exciting film (with inevitably added confusion), choose Déjà vu!