Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Adam Goldberg, Erika Alexander
Doug: Alright, I tell you what…I’ll speak slow so that those of you with PhDs in the room can understand.
So, okay, like, this guy blows up a boat full of navy men and their families. Not many survivors…horrific scene. Not to fear, Agent Doug Carlin (Washington) of the ATF is on the scene. He, of course, uncovers clues that roughly 6 trillion other law enforcement members miss, so the FBI brings him in to their secret investigation of the case. Turns out, the FBI have themselves a FREAKIN’ TIME MACHINE that allows them to see 4 days into the past. Are you buying this so far? That’s the premise. Doug and the FBI watch various events in the past, looking for more clues as to the who the bomber is…and maybe a way to prevent the explosion from ever happening at all.
I wanted to resist the urge to make the “I feel like I’ve seen this movie before” joke that I’m sure many reviewers made when this came out, but I just couldn’t. It’s pretty much your typical Denzel-Washington-is-more-awesome-than-everybody movie.
It also happens to be the granddaddy of all you-have-to-suspend-your-disbelief movies. I found myself uttering the phrase “come ON” more often than Gob Bluth. Amazingly enough, they kind of resolve the time paradox issues that might crop up, but there are other details that just make no sense whatsoever. How do they get the multiple angles of the past? Why on earth did Doug’s little laser pointer trick work the way it did? HOW DO THEY GET ALL THESE CAMERA ANGLES OF THE PAST!??
Anyway, if you can put your mind on hold, Denzel is enjoyable as usual, Val Kilmer and the other FBI folks are amusing and well played, and Paula Patton is sympathetic as the murdered girl who holds the key to solving the case. Yes, she is dead in the present, but not in the past, so we see plenty of her alive. Another positive is the inventiveness of the car chase through time. It is utterly ridiculous, but I have to give them points for originality on that one.
I won’t spoil any more of the story, but I will say that the very end (the denouement, if you will) is so hokey and poorly written that I just had to laugh at it. You don’t want to leave your viewers saying, “oh give me a freakin’ BREAK” as they leave the theater, but I imagine that’s what a lot of people were doing after this one.
It’s a Tony Scott movie, which means get ready for lots of over-editing and loudness. But hey, at least it’s not Michael Bay.
It’s overlong and extremely silly, but at least it manages to be entertaining…even if sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons.
If you’ve got Denzel on your tail, you may as well just give up and call it a day…
10 – 2 because it’s just so preposterous – 1 for some faulty details and that terrible ending – .5 for over-editing/over-stylizing = 6.5