“Déjà-vu” Mini-Review

deja_vu

Déjà-vu (2006)

“What if you had to tell someone the most important thing in the world, but you knew they’d never believe you?” (Doug Carlin)

In 2006, the now late Tony Scott directed a time-travel thriller “Déjà-vu” starring Denzel Washington and Val Kilmer, presenting a story of A.T.F. agent Doug Carlin who starts to investigate a bombing of a ferry in New Orleans, but ends up embarking on a romantic time-travel mission to save the lives of many. Coming from a film director known for “True Romance” (1993) and “Enemy of the State” (1998), “Déjà-vu” plays all its cards right, and, despite perhaps failing to convince the audience in the plot’s technological advances, the movie still feels very “complete”, fun to watch and provides just the right amount of suspense to keep one intrigued until the very end. 

There are a lot to admire in “Déjà-vu”, and the fact that so many film critics dismiss the movie is a bit unfair. The movie captures the audience from the very beginning when it unfolds the event of a ferry bombing, and the director presents the suspenseful atmosphere of the imminent danger with a great skill, for example, there are beautiful slow-moving shots of happy people on the ferry before the disaster. Overall, the film is well-presented and has many thrills, just like any action movie should be/must have. Surely, it is no masterpiece to be hanged on the wall and be admired, but it is a very nice entertainment, and that is what matters. One thing which is particularly nice about “Déjà-vu”and what makes it stand out from other action movies is its villain. Here, it is the terrorist responsible for the bombing of the ferry, Carroll Oerstadt (Jim Caviezel). It feels like he should really be feared: he is cold-blooded and mysterious, and Caviezel makes him really believable.   

The biggest criticism of this film is the science behind the “time-travel” technology employed in the movie. In the movie, a team of investigators use a special program “Snow White” to see into the past (4 days prior to the bombing) to identify and eventually stop the bomber, and, so, Doug Carlin uses this technology to spy on a woman who he thinks is the key to solving the case. Sure, the science is ridiculous as the team uses a number of satellites and the system does not allow to rewind, etc., but knowing that it is only a movie made for one’s entertainment, surely all this could be forgiven. On the contrary, the time-travel premise makes the movie somewhat thought-provoking because there are “free-will/destiny” discussions. In fact, Doug (Washington) plants clues in the past, to help him move further with his puzzle when he “returns”, all making “Back to the Future” (1985) a bit less exciting in comparison…

Denzel Washington always performs this role of “an authoritative official under-stress” with brilliance, and Robert Zemeckis’s “Flight” (2012) is the main example of it. In “Déjà-vu” Washington is also very good. He is stoic, romantic; a trustworthy hero. His chemistry with his beautiful co-star Paula Patton (Claire Kuchever) is electrifying, and he also plays off well against Val Kilmer (“Top Gun” (1986)) and Matt Craven (“Crimson Tide” (1995)).

Despite its “technical” flaws, “Déjà-vu” is a very entertaining movie, which will definitely provide for a great-night in. It is romantic, it is emotional, it is action-driven with a great, thought-provoking ending, and Denzel Washington gives a very convincing performance. What more could be asked for? 7/10

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Déjà-vu” Mini-Review

  1. Steve says:

    I have always loved Déjà-Vu. Heck with the critics. It’s a fascinating story well told.

  2. Dan says:

    Very “entertaining” – totally agree. It isn’t perfect, you’re right to highlights some flaws, but it’s hugely enjoyable and very re-watchable.

  3. The Album says:

    This is one of my dads favorite films and it has the “Shawshank effect”, everytime it’s on TV he HAS to watch it, much like when Shawshank Redemption is on TV a lot of people HAVE to put it on. Love it.

    • dbmoviesblog says:

      Agree! Much like Shawshank Deja-Vu appeals if only because of its philosophical, existential message. Both films are inspirational in their own ways. And if you add to that good action and a nice story, I don’t know what more could be asked from a film…

  4. Pingback: “Flight” Review | dbmoviesblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Movie TV Documentary

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." Robin Williams

SeanMunger.com

Official site of author and historian Sean Munger.

Rare Horror

We provide reviews and recommendations for all things horror. We are particularly fond of 80s, foreign, independent, cult and B horror movies. Please use the menu on the top left of the screen to view our archives or to learn more about us.

Linnet Moss

On books, food, wine and beautiful men

Whimsically Classic

Brought to You by a Former Nick-at-Nite and Current TCM Junkie!

off the leash

History, technology, books and baseball.

After Credits Corner

There's a million films I haven't seen. Just you wait...

BuzzHub

More Than Entertainment

%d bloggers like this: