Tony Scott's "Deja Vu" surprised me since I had believed
I'd seen all of his tricks as a director before. I thought
this would be a mind numbingly typical Jerry Bruckheimer
big explosion sci-fi thriller ride. While it does fit into
that category, it's also surprisingly bright for a Bruckheimber-Scott
thriller. I'd always thought of Tony as the less talented
brother of Ridley since his films generally don't have a
lot of personality but are solid workman-like thrillers.
I guess Tony showed me (and all the critics out there as
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! SKIP THE NEXT PARAGRAPH PLEASE
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PLOT. ***
Denzil Washington plays an ATF agent named Doug Carlin
who investigates the bombing of a ferry in New Orleans.
When the body of Claire Kuchever (Paula Patton)up on shore
that appears to be linked to the bombing he thinks that
it's just another case of a body drifting down the Mississippi.
What's even more mystifying is that she CALLED him only
hours before the explosion and he's never met her before.
That is until he realizes the person despite appearences
to the contrary was killed and put in the water at least
two hours BEFORE the explosion of the ferry. He takes this
discovery to an FBI Agent (Val Kilmer)also working the case.
The agent asks for Carlin's feedback on surveilance footage
of the site and surrounding area from three days before
the explosion. What mystifies Carlin is that the video feeds
are treated like they are live and they are far too detailed
to have come from satellite feeds. A science team working
with the FBI has figured out a way to punch a hole through
time to see 4 days into the past no more, no less and it
must unfold in real time in other words they can't fast
forward or rewind what they see unless it has been recorded.
Now the team has to gather clues as to the identity of the
bomber from this "footage" from the past. Carlin find himself
falling in love with one of the victims who was killed by
the terrorist(Jim Caviezel in a creepy extended cameo).
END OF SPOILERS
Imagine "Time After Time" combined with a contemporary
thriller and you've got "Deja Vu" in a nutshell. Now I haven't
given away the major plot twists of the movie (the trailer
gives away TOO much information I might add)but if you can
wrap your mind around "Deja Vu" you'll enjoy this thought
provoking action thriller with as many twists and turns
in its maze like storyline as you can imagine. I did find
the ending predictable (I figured it out midway through
the film but I was thinking about the only possible way
the story could resolve itself successfully. That's not
to a deficit on the part of the film's script or director
that's just how I think. My advice--don't think about the
film just watch it and go along with the flow). ***
Tony Scott turns in his usual tour de force of action
direction here with nice character development for Washington,
Kilmer, Bruce Greenwood (underused in his role I might add--someone
give this terrific actor a role he can sink his teeth into
again!). "Deja Vu" is an example of an extremely good mainstream
Hollywood thriller. It's not innovative (unlike some of
Ridley Scott's films)but it is a fun thrill ride that is
definitely worth taking. ---