Time travel is seen as the ultimate do-over, a chance to right wrongs, snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. But when you combine it with the butterfly effect, the principle that the smallest alteration could have the wildest consequences, you’ve got the making of a trilogy of some very thought-provoking and iconic films. When you’re following a commercially successful first instalment with a limited budget and time frame making a worthy sequel can be impossible, but for The Butterfly Effect 2, making the impossible, is all in a day’s work.
Nick Larson has it all he’s got a good job in a new start-up company, a loving fiancé, but when work calls him away from a friend’s party, he’s spared a horrific accident that costs his friends their lives. Nick is distraught but soon learns he can go back and change the past and utilities this power to try to fix everything. In doing so, he comes face-to-face with The Butterfly Effect… and learns first-hand that actions have consequences, and gambling on greed can bring the house of cards he has built up tumbling down.
Butterfly Effect 2 gives a new set of characters the same power-set as Ashton Kutcher had in the first film, but instead of Kutcher, A lot of familiar faces are in The Butterfly Effect 2 from the vast corners of the stage and screen world. For instance, joining Eric Lively and Erica Durance is Dustin Milligan who played Sgt. Hugo Friedkin in the Netflix adaptation of Dirk Gently’s Detective Agency and Chris Gauthier Who helped keep up the mystery on Harper’s Island. The new cast is on fine form and shows that you don’t need the big names like Ashton Kutcher in order to make this story work.
One thing like its predecessor is that this film is, at keeping you on your toes about the alterations and their effect and impact his changes does to his timeline, it helps to get you into the mindset of Nick. Another key change is that it tones down some of the nihilistic elements of the first instalment there are no abuse storylines, no artificially giving yourself the stigmata. Some people might consider this a downgrade, once again it showcases a different way to tell the story The film is not totally devoid of grit, but the times when it is darker feels more rationed than the first. It depends on what you’re looking for in your sci-fi films and it’s nice to have a variety of choice, especially in the same franchise.
A direct-to-video release might be a negative sign for some films, but for The Butterfly Effect series, it has given a more liberating platform to explore some interesting ideas and a new way to tell an interesting story. If you didn’t catch it the first time on its direct to video release, then it’s one of those films that will make you want to go back in time and see it, damn the consequences.
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