The Butterfly Effect 2 is a waste of celluloid and time. Although I might not have been the biggest fan of the previous entry, it at least had some interesting ideas behind it, not to mention a character I could actually somewhat care about. This one however has 1-dimensional characters and our main guy is a Grade A douche.
Genre(s): Thriller, Fantasy, Drama
Warner Bros. | R – 92 min. – $19.98 | July 17, 2012
Directed by: John R. Leonetti
Writer(s): Michael Weiss (written by)
Cast: Eric Lively, Erica Durance, Dustin Milligan, Gina Holden
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 17.3 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 1.5/5
Plot Synopsis: After a tragic accident claims the life of his girlfriend (ERICA DURANCE), Nick (ERIC LIVELY) discovers that he has the paranormal power to change the past and save her. But when he keeps going back to alter other events, he soon realizes that his actions have dire consequences for the present… and their future.
Quick Hit Review: Alright, I might not have been the biggest fan of first movie, but it’s a masterpiece and Oscar contender compared with the direct-to-video sequel, The Butterfly Effect 2, starring Eric Lively as the newest person with the ability to go to the past but instead of journals, via pictures. As with the last movie, his motivation for changing events is to save the love of his life played by Erica Durance, most recognizable as Lois Lane on “Smallville”.
Problem with the film, which the previous installment did so well, was telling us who these characters are. In the first movie, we get scenes from their childhood that really explains Ethan’s actions whereas all we get from our new main character is that he’s pretty much a self-centered douchebag. Yeah, he uses his abilities, which for whatever reason only happen after accident (I guess it was triggered?), to go back and save his true love (it was accidental but he succeeded). However, it all felt so hollow and it didn’t help that Eric Lively didn’t have near the charisma to make the character likeable, a mighty feat, I must say.
The supporting cast is OK with Erica Durance coming out the best and I kind of wish the movie was centered on her, giving it a somewhat fresh twist on basically the same story (minus depth and darkness). Despite not having as much screen time compared to Lively, she at least makes the film bearable, but that only goes so far. Other cast members include Dustin Milligan (Shark Night 3D, Final Destination 3) and Gina Holden (Saw 3D). Neither really make an impression and like a few of the characters in the first film are at the service of the main characters rather than being individuals with depth and substance.
Which, by the way, is what The Butterfly 2 lacks: depth and substance… oh, and logic. This is going into major spoiler territory (and is a rant, so bear with me) but the accident that triggers everything is due to a blown tire which turns the vehicle around and is subsequently slammed by a big rig truck. My question is, when Nick goes back, why not change the tire or at the very least sabotage (i.e. deflate it) so they can’t leave at that moment? Also, Nick eventually sacrifices himself for the sake of his love when he had a few options where the future would not end up in the nightmare he had experienced earlier. See, Nick breaks up with the girlfriend, before finding out she’s pregnant, so she can go on her own path (or some Screenwriting 101 BS like that) and to do so, needs to move to New York. One might ask: why didn’t he just quit his job and move there with her? Beats the hell out of me.
Basically, it makes no sense and at the end when he sacrifices his life, it not only rang hollow and was really, really, REALLY, stupid. I realize the writer (Michael Weiss, Hostel Part III) wanted to surprise the audience and provide Nick with some act of redemption but it only made the character worse and a bigger douche than he was before.
Ok, with the rant over, I’ll conclude this by saying that while the first movie was hardly a classic by any stretch, it at least provided some interesting ideas and truly thrilling scenes that was rare in mainstream releases. The Butterfly Effect 2 is just another direct-to-video sequel that tries to cash in on the name and skips any logical attempt at writing.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
The features from the DVD release have been ported over and include a Feature Commentary by Director John R. Leonetti & Co-Producer Michael Stirling; Altering Reality: On the Set of The Butterfly Effect 2 (15:28), a basic behind-the-scenes featurette where you get to see cast and crew at work; and a Trailer (1:53) for the movie.
VIDEO – 3.0/5
The Butterfly Effect 2 marks its debut on Blu-ray with an OK if not flatly uninspiring 1080p high-def transfer. The movie is presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and frankly you can see a notable drop off in quality from the first film to this as the picture looks soft in places and the detail level is at best average. The color array seems to be alright and black levels were alright but everything else about this transfer wasn’t very impressive.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is at least better showing off a fair amount of depth during the main accident scene while dialogue, coming from the center speaker, was crisp and clear. I won’t say it’s an incredible lossless track but certainly a step up from the DVD’s standard Dolby Digital track.
OVERALL – 2.0/5
The Butterfly Effect 2 is a waste of celluloid and time. Although I might not have been the biggest fan of the previous entry, it at least had some interesting ideas behind it, not to mention a character I could actually somewhat care about. This one however has 1-dimensional characters and our main guy is a Grade A douche. The Blu-ray itself doesn’t offer much but has most of the features and decent audio but the video transfer has much to be desired, though it’s probably better than the DVD version.