Release Date: November 22nd, 2006 by Touchtone Pictures.
The Cast: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Val Kilmer, James Caviezel, Adam Goldberg, Elden Henson, Erika Alexander, Bruce Greenwood.
Directed by Tony Scott.
BASIC PREMISE: In New Orleans, ATF agent Doug Carlin (Washington) and FBI agent (Kilmer), must find the criminal responsible for the bombing of a ferry and, with the assistance of new time-traveling technology, try to save Claire (Patton) from being murdered by the same criminal.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Déjà Vu begins like a typical murder-mystery with a crime committed and an investigator who collects evidence to try to solve the mystery. That’s just the first act, though. In the second act, the investigator, ATF agent Doug Carlin, joins a special task force of the FBI headed by Agent Pryzwarra who introduces him to a new surveillance system which uses seven cameras to allow for the surveillance of everything that happened in New Orleans throughout the last few days from every possible angle. There’s one catch: there’s not enough computer memory to rewind or fast forward, so he has to pay close attention—just like the audience must also pay close attention. In a crucial moment involving a laser-pointer, he realizes that the system is, rather, a portal into the past—just one of the film’s many surprises. By putting you into Doug Carlin’s shoes, screenwriters Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio immediately hook you right into the film with all of its surprises and twists—which won’t be spoiled here. The plot may seem mind-boggling at times, i.e. when Doug goes through a car chase in two time dimensions simultaneously, but at least it’s very imaginative. Fortunately, the smart screenplay ties the intricate plot together in a coherent and fun way so that plot holes are minimized and most of the important questions about the system itself are asked by Doug and answered by the FBI agents. Adam Goldberg provides for some well-needed comic relief, although Denzel also has his humorous moments along with his dramatic ones that work as well thanks to his incredible versatility. The sexy Paula Patton shines as Claire, the woman Doug needs to save. The later part of the second act along with the third act feels the most suspenseful and riveting. Director Tony Scott knows how to add plenty of energy through a pulse-pounding musical score and a fast pace so that not a single scene drags throughout its running time of 2 hours and 8 minutes.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None, other than that the next time you experience déjà vu, you’ll speculate where that feeling might come from.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Smart, thrilling and thoroughly suspenseful. An imaginative, riveting and satisfying ride.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "D" Menu