Friday, November 24, 2006

Deja Vu

An interesting action/thriller that,if you buy into its premise, will keep you entertained. Denzel Washington plays an agent for the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) who is investigating the bombing of a New Orleans ferry loaded with U.S. servicemen and their families. The film starts out as your typical “find the killer” story but takes a detour into science fiction when the plot hinges on time travel.

Val Kilmer and Adam Goldberg play FBI agents working on a “top secret government project” who bring in Mr. Washington as their investigative expert. Why the FBI needs an ATF agent as their “investigative expert” is our first leap of faith. When he realizes their project can actually send things into the past, Mr. Washington uses it in an attempt to prevent the tragedy from happening in the first place. Paula Patton plays the woman who is the key to finding the killer and of course, ends up Mr. Washington’s love interest. Another leap of faith.

You sense you seen these plot elements before…Hmmm, Déjà vu? What keeps the story grounded is the serious and committed acting of Denzel Washington. He believes it so we believe it too. Time travel plots are very tricky. If you change the past, then there’s no longer a need to go into the past but if you don’t go, you don’t change it…very complicated stuff, which raises all kinds of questions at the end of the film. Don’t try to figure it all out. Movies like this are all about the ride and Director Tony Scott along with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is very adept at giving you a fun ride. I have a strange sense they’ve done it before….

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