Déjà Vu

Categories: Movie Reviews
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Published on: 2007.07.09

IMDb: Déjà Vu
Wikipedia: Déjà Vu
Rating: PG-13
(intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images, and some sensuality)
Length: 128 minutes (2:08)
Director: Tony Scott
Genre: Action / Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi / Thriller
My Rating: 9 of 10
Family Friendly: Not really. I’m actually surprised this one slipped into the “PG-13” range.
This high-intensity sci-fi cop thriller starts off as just a cop movie, and the viewer gets to learn about the sci-fi part along with the main character.
Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Val Kilmer, James Caviezel, Adam Goldberg, Elden Henson, Erika Alexander, Bruce Greenwood

Director Tony Scott hit the bullseye with this film, perfectly combining cop-thriller action with a little sci-fi twist that’s actually the main point of the plot.

At the same time, the romance between the two main characters (Washington and Patton) comes through with an air of authenticity.

The story begins with a passenger ferry getting blown to bits in the harbor at New Orleans, not long after Hurricane Katrina, adding to the devastation in the area. Over 500 people are killed in the incident, which turns out to be the act of a lone terrorist.

Denzel Washington’s character is an ATF agent called in to help with the disaster. He has a particular talent to spot what’s unusual about a crime scene, and a tendency to go with his hunches, which are usually correct.

During the cataloguing of the bodies, he comes across one beautiful young woman (Patton) who actually died BEFORE the explosion. Convinced that the woman’s death is related to the terrorist behind the operation, Washington begins digging into the details of her life.

Enter Val Kilmer. Kilmer’s character is part of a top-secret operation that can actually see into the past, but only a time period exactly 4.5 days earlier. Kilmer’s character invites Washington into the secret, but at first tells him they’re just looking at satellite imagery from a few days in the past.

It doesn’t take Washington long to figure out that they’re looking into time, and he soon discovers that he can actually affect the people he’s watching.

After sending a note back into the past to warn himself of the terrorist disaster (and therefore inadertently causing his partner’s death), Washington decides to go back into the past to save Patton’s character, and at the same time divert the terrorist.

I won’t give away what happens, but it’s noble, exciting, and worth watching. The movie keeps you on your seat till the very end.

The technology isn’t too unbelievable, although it is at first, when Kilmer and his cronies keep insisting that they’re seeing all these details with a satellite camera. Once you’re told that it’s looking back in time, then it’s more believable.

There were few — if any — continuity mistakes, at least that I noticed.

Even if you have arguments with the movie’s time-travel science, the film makes it obvious that the movie’s about more than that. It’s about a cop trying to help a victim BEFORE the crime. It’s about a man who’s lost so much trying to hold onto something. And it’s about a group of people trying to use science for the right reasons.

For the most part, the camera work keeps the viewer in the action, the dialogue is sharp and appropriate, and the set designs were amazing, especially in the time-viewing control room.

I was honestly surprised by the PG-13 rating, though, because of the intense violence to open the movie, including the deaths of 500 ferry passengers, and also because of a scene of nudity. Perhaps producer Jerry Bruckheimer has more pull with the MPAA than some other movie-makers. I’ve definitely seen movies with less graphic violence and absolutely no nudity that were rated R.

Ratings questions aside, the movie was a thrill to watch.

1 Comment
  1. Chris Crews says:

    I liked it 8/10

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