Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Butterfly Effect

We recently had the good fortune to find The Butterfly Effect for $1 on VHS on the bargain racks at a Video Store recently...


... a movie which is easily worth at least one and a half times that amount! Score!

The Butterfly Effect is a movie I've seen a few times and is by far one of the best time-travel based movies there is (Just below Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure! Of course!), and easily one of the ones with the least time-travelling plot holes that most fall prey to. Coupled with the fact that Ashton Kutcher is the lead role who had, until then, mainly played "the goofy stoner kid" in anything else he was in made for interesting viewing given that he made an awesome performance in this. You hear that Ashton? Awesome! Where are you now? Stop playing dumbass pranks on celebrities and trying to produce failed attempts at sit-coms and get back to acting in slightly edgy films, dude! Duuuuuuuuuuuude! Saaaweeeeeeeeeeet!

So, Butterfly Effect = Awesome! All the way through until the VHS tape gets to the end...

It's then I remember that the version I've seen countless times was the Director's Cut in which (SPOILERS AHEAD) Ashton's character realizes that in the end it is inevitable that no matter what he does he is going to fuck things up for someone in some way and so he watches the home video reel of his mother giving birth and goes back to then when he was still in the womb and strangles himself with the umbilical cord! Awesome! Thus, he never is born and the girl he loves never decides to hang around in that shitty town to get abused, the brother isn't hanging out with them to fuck things up by blowing up a baby and making Lenny crazy and his mother probably doesn't go chain-smoking because she doesn't get her hopes up with a surviving baby (Also something left out was all the still-births his mother had before Ashton's character's birth, though I think that was a deleted scene that didn't even make it to the director's cut! For shame! It implied that there had been many other time-traveling stoner kids before Ashton's character who had all come to the same conclusion that they had to kill themselves before they were born! Extra awesome? I thought so).
Instead the version we bought (Which I call the "shit-assed version") ends with him just going back and not killing himself but still managing to fix everything and make everything perfect and thus destroying any point that the film might have made about inevitability and the dangers of changing things in the past to change the present. Instead we end with an ending in which Ashton's character has potentially perfected everything, instead of fucking up everything, which is exactly how the movie should have ended... and it did! In the director's eyes...

"I swear! I didn't know we bought the version with the lame ending, Lenny!"

It was still enjoyable. Funny, exciting, at times disturbing. But all in all, I think if I had seen this ending first, I wouldn't have remembered The Butterfly Effect as being such an awesome movie all these years...

Still, I think I give it 4/5 all the same:



The Butterfly Effect - Apple Movie Site

4 comments:

Tifu said...

He went back to some birthday party when he was 5 or something and yelled at the little girl so she'd hate him, yeah? That was the version I saw in the cinema. Director's cut was much better, yesh!

Anonymous said...

I think the part about all his mothers miscarriages was actually in the directors cut too, because I remember it happening.... and I'm pretty sure I didn't watch the extras.

Spike Vicious said...

Makes sense!
Either way, I wish it was the version I owned...

Anonymous said...

Me too.