Deja Vu (2006)
March 22, 2022 7:58 PM - Subscribe

Called in to recover evidence in the aftermath of a horrific explosion on a New Orleans ferry, Federal agent Doug Carlin gets pulled away from the scene and taken to a top-secret government lab that uses a time-shifting surveillance device to help prevent crime.

A tight meditation on fate and human striving, dressed up in an action-thriller that feels almost old-fashioned to me now. Denzel is charismatic, playing with a hauntedness that we can only surmise the source of; Paula Patton brings a lot to what could have been a stock character.

The movie is a bit long in the middle, though I don’t know how I would have cut out any of the business of showing us and Denzel the machine and what it does. But the payoff of all the middle business is a well-constructed time loop of growing dread.
posted by gauche (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Three further notes. First, CW Jim Caviezel, whom I did not realize until tonight has gone all QAnon. He here plays a right-wing-seeming “patriot” of some stripe.

Second, I was sure I had the ending figured out from the moment Val Kilmer tells Adam Goldberg to turn off the lights when he’s done. The way that scene played was like it was old hat to them, this was going to be another tragic time loop in which all is sacrificed and nothing gained. I was wrong but not far wrong.

Finally, knowing director Tony Scott later took his own life affected my viewing, as I saw him hemming his protagonist in tighter and tighter with each scene.
posted by gauche at 8:07 PM on March 22, 2022

Oh, this is streaming on Amazon right now.
posted by gauche at 8:08 PM on March 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

That was somehow interesting and different yet also very...stock. Like it's about as stereotypically Bruckheimer as it is possible to be, yet somehow there is still depth to it that most lack.

I was slightly surprised at the ending. Once I saw Denzel's character take the ambulance I was convinced that at best some details might change but that the end result would remain the same. Also a bit confused about some things in the original timeline, but whatever, it's best not to think about time travel too deeply lest you lock up your brain.
posted by wierdo at 12:24 AM on March 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

The first time I was sure (like for-sure sure) that Denzel going back was really changing things was when he stopped terrorist guy from cutting Claire’s fingers off. Up until then I thought any change was still just putting pieces we had already seen into place.

I like the structure here where we see one pass of a series of loops that will require a lot of work from at least both Doug and Claire to get both of them out the other side alive and without the ferry passengers all dead.

Today is the first time I watched this movie, because somehow I had gotten it in my head that this was a “we extracted some spinal fluid (or whatever) from a murder victim and we can use it to witness her last day to see the face of her murderer” kind of movie, which frankly I am a lot less excited about. I’m glad I looked in to read the description here, because this is a much better movie than I had always assumed it was.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:22 AM on March 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

And yeah, I realize that the next stretch of the cycle requires Claire to do a run without Doug, but I’m confident she has enough information that if she can get in front of the Time Team and tell them what she knows, she can go back and get him and still save the ferry.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:26 AM on March 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm a sucker for time loop movies, and I thought this was decent overall, but the split-time car chase was extremely clever. I hadn't seen anything quite like that before.
posted by Sibrax at 10:40 AM on March 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Wanna feel old?
The little girl who drops her doll off the ferry?
That's Elle Fanning.
This movie came out in 2006.
posted by bartleby at 10:40 PM on March 23, 2022

This was better than expected. The ending was a bit surprising, even to a jaded time travel movie buff, in a good way. Only thing I didn’t care for was the time-creeping on Claire, and the way the film tries to wedge in a romance.

Re: Jim Caviezel. The Q-Anon Anonymous podcast did an interesting episode on him. He’s basically playing himself in this movie. Great casting!
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:29 AM on March 24, 2022

Yeah, the love-at-first-peep thing is as bad as the fell-in-love-with-a-corpse thing, neither of which date well. Not sure if those bits are made better by the fact that they don’t end up together at the end of the movie.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:40 PM on March 24, 2022

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