Butterfly Effect Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 9.0
Audio 8.5
Special Features 9.0
Total 9.0
Distributor: Icon
Running Time: 120 minutes
Classification: MA15+
Reviewer:
Simon Black

9.0


Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a difficult film to summarise with any measure of brevity.  Originally released in 2004, this excellent and underrated drama utilises time travel and parallel dimensions to illustrate its expansive themes of regret, redemption and atonement.  As is to be expected from a film which takes its title from one of the central tenets of Chaos Theory, things often donít pan out as smoothly as hoped for, and even the most seemingly insignificant actions cause ripples that manifest themselves as tidal waves of unforseen consequences. 

The plot revolves around Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher), who thanks to some rare form of genetic anomaly is given the chance to literally go back into his past and make the wrong things right.  And my are there some wrong to address!  The Butterfly Effect is certainly not for the faint of heart.  Amongst its weightier preoccupations are incest, child abuse, drug addiction, prostitution, mental illness, involuntary incarceration... and, well, you get the idea.  Itís not maudlin or depressing, but it is unrelenting in its intensity, and liable to leave you drained at its conclusion, or at the very least in need of a glass of warm milk and a hug. 

Co-producer and lead Ashton Kutcher is undeniably brilliant in his breakout dramatic role, ably carrying the film and putting in a performance that is downright mesmerising.  As was the case with Adam Sandler in more serious outings like Punch Drunk Love, you get the impression Kutcher simply needed the right vehicle to demonstrate his not inconsiderable acting chops.  He is well served by a supporting cast that includes Amy Smart (Road Trip, Starsky & Hutch), Eric Stoltz and Ethan Suplee (American History X, My Name is Earl), and the smart script offers a series of continuing surprises. 

The Blu-ray release is top calibre too.  First of all the film looks superb in 1080p, and the DTS-HD audio features good depth and clarity.  There are also a host of bonus features on offer, including an enlightening audio commentary with co-writers and directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, deleted scenes with optional commentary and four featurettes on time travel, the creative process, Chaos Theory and special effects. 

Overall this amounts to a first rate release of this powerful, moving and surprisingly overlooked film.  The DVD and Blu-ray releases also feature the original 120-minute version of the film, not the theatrical version, which underwent substantial cuts amounting to some 7 minutes of footage.






 
 



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