Deja Vu Review

You can’t do a time travel story unless you’re willing to take the time to explain the rules clearly. In the fast paced sci-fi thriller, Déjà Vu, Tony Scott speeds though the explanation to get to a rousing car chase sequence and eventual villain showdown. However, as convoluted as the time travel issues are, there’s a solid movie underneath it all.

While Scott’s use of slow motion is initially aggravating, he stops using it as the film moves on. Déjà Vu opens in grand style with a ferry explosion before settling down into a standard crime drama. Things change drastically when star Denzel Washington learns about time travel technology dreamt up by the government that lets people see into the past.

Eventually things take a turn for the worse when people are transported back into time. While this does lead to exciting finale, in the end, there are more questions than answers. The Hollywood ending feels tacked on and illogical.

Still, Scott handles the material with care, and Washington remains one of the best actors working today even with this messy script. The film’s highlight is undoubtedly the car chase in which Washington, in the present, chases the ferry bomber who is in the past. If it sounds confusing, it is. However, the action is energetic and by that point of Déjà Vu, you’ve stopped trying to make sense of it all.

Like the ending, the entire the time travel concept also feels out of place. What opens the film is a typical, albeit well done, investigation. Everyone’s character is skilled at what they do, and it’s not hard to see the killer coming into custody without the sci-fi babble. Instead, time travel is used to lead to the happy ending and keep the star actors alive until the final credits.

Credit is due to the makers of the film for at least trying something unique. Whether it works or not, with the aid of suspension of disbelief, this is an entertaining piece of filmmaking. It’s colorful, fast paced, and the illogical mystery is still intriguing. Déjà Vu is seriously flawed, but still fun.

Movie ★★★★☆ 

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Blu-ray helps this movie shine. This is a nearly flawless transfer, capturing Scott’s trademark style of color filters, grain, and quick cuts. Detail is nothing short of phenomenal, coming down to individual stitching on clothing. Deep contrast is created to give the film that HD “pop” fans look for, and the colors remains bold throughout. The print is free of imperfections, and the minor uses of additional grain add to the atmosphere.

Video ★★★★★ 

The ferry explosion is a masterpiece of home audio design. The initial blast rattles the room through the subwoofer, and lasting debris lands in the water from every possible direction. The car chase is likewise a powerful piece of audio, featuring cars driving and crashing through every speaker. Gun fights are loaded with ricocheting bullets.

Audio ★★★★★ 

The Surveillance Window opens up the extras section of the disc. This nifty and smoothly done picture-in-picture feature delivers raw behind-the-scenes footage from key shots. There are 10 in total, and they run for around 40 minutes. They can also be viewed separately outside of the main film.

Five deleted scenes and three extended ones offer an optional Tony Scott commentary. Oddly enough, Scott does not provide a commentary for the main film. Lastly, Disney’s standard movie showcase takes the viewer directly to the best looking and sounding scenes.

Extras ★★★☆☆ 


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