Plot summary (from the studio): Academy Award(R) winner Denzel Washington (Best Actor, TRAINING DAY, 2001) joins forces with blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer and mega-hit director Tony Scott for DÉJÀ VU — the powerful, fast-paced action-thriller with a spectacular mind-bending twist. Called in to recover evidence in the aftermath of a horrific explosion on a New Orleans ferry, Federal agent Doug Carlin (Washington) gets pulled away from the scene and taken to a top-secret government lab that uses a time-shifting surveillance device to help prevent crime. But can it help Carlin change the past? Hold on to your seat for an explosive and intriguing thrill ride you’ll want to experience again and again.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- Denzel Washington was very engaging, personable, and likable in this role, as he usually is. This film didn’t have much else going for it, but at least the main character was well cast.
- I liked that the screenwriters distanced themselves from the final product, saying the director made “hundreds” of minor mistakes and “eight or nine deadly ones.” They insisted their original plot was airtight, but fell apart when the director took liberties with the details. This doesn’t make me enjoy the film any better, but it’s still good to know.
- Well, very little of the time travel aspect of the film makes sense when held up to close scrutiny. This movie is seven years old already, so I’m sure there are plenty of other reviews that delve into the minutiae. I’m not going to do that here. Suffice it to say that at some point while watching you just have to throw your hands up and go with the flow.
- It seemed that the only reason Carlin even cared about going back to prevent the bombing (instead of just arresting the bomber afterwards) was to save Claire’s life because he was obviously smitten with her. This made me wonder if he would have tried that hard if Claire had been some dumpy–or even average-looking–woman instead.
- Every member of the tech team got on my nerves. The characters were annoying and the acting was bad.
I have no strong feelings either way about Deja Vu. It was mildly entertaining, but not something I would go out of my way to watch again or even recommend. I give it 2 stars out of 5.