BluRay/DVD Reviews


By • Apr 24th, 2007 •

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Touchstone Home Entertainment

Have I seen this before? Sorry, an obvious blundersome and unworthy introduction, probably brought about by my recent viewing of Val Kilmer’s TOP SECRET where he meets a French Resistance operative named Déjà Vu who introduces himself with the line “’Ave we not met before monsieur?”.

As part of their investigation, Doug Carlin, Agent Andrew Pryzwarra and Jack McCready, investigators of a post Katrina New Orleans ferry terrorist attack in which over 500 persons are killed, are viewing on screen the events of four and a half days previously. Initially, Denzel’s character thinks he’s watching simple enhanced satellite and CCTV footage, but then realises there’s more to it than that. He then at one point flashes a penlight at a supposedly four-day-old image of a girl on the screen and she reacts to it. It turns out that this is a system which, through the bending of the oft-taken-advantage-of space-time continuum, enables them to actually watch, live, the events of four days previously and that the observers can also interact with the observed. So, the premise goes on, if we can watch the said events, can we influence those events? Denzel’s character’s motivation is the simple fact that he has already seen this girl’s body in the morgue, and now he may have a chance of saving her life. And she’s cute. First they send a document back, then, inevitably, they send Denzel himself back.

There’s an interesting chase sequence where, with the aid of some hi-tech jiggery-pokery head-set jobby (a goggle-rig they call it), Washington chases a four day old image of the suspect’s vehicle, with the current-day world in one eye, and four days previous in the other. It is admittedly imaginative.

As with all films of this type though, there is the problem of the paradox. If the motivation for changing things in the past is removed, then those events will not be interfered with and will therefore occur. It’s not a spoiler, but if you have to go back in time to save someone’s life and succeed, then there is no reason to go back in time, so you don’t, and therefore they will die, so you have to go back in time… etc… etc. It’s a no-win scenario. Also there is the problem that if, as the technos tell us in the movie, that nothing can be sent back, why have they got a chamber constructed, that will hold something the size of a man, in order to do just that?

However, as I’ve said, it is imaginatively done and will keep you hooked from start to finish, and Washington gives a great and easy looking performance, which is a skill in itself.

And if you can work out the resolution, then congratulations.

Supplements include Deleted & Extended scenes, and a “The Surveillance Window” where you can experience behind-the-scenes moments with the filmmakers.

Denzel Washington: Doug Carlin
Paula Patton: Claire Kuchever
Val Kilmer: Agent Andrew Pryzwarra
James Caviezel: Carroll Oerstadt
Bruce Greenwood: Jack McCready

Directed by Tony Scott
Written by Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (et al)
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams

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