Intriguing, dark, but good ending
Jeffrey J. Messenger | Connecticut, USA | 11/04/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After reading the viewer reviews about this movie, I'm convinced that those attracted to despair, futility, and ruination have a love affair with this adventure. Pedaphiles, doggie killers, baby bombers... it's all a bit much! Some complained about the perceived "upbeat" end of the film, although I didn't see the ending as upbeat at all.
Spoiler Alert... Having the main character sacrifice the one relationship that meant the most to him...his true love, his childhood sweetheart... this is "upbeat?" Instead, it's bittersweet... he realizes that her life would be better if she wasn't close to him. Thus, this "good" ending has a sad twist, especially when he sees his true love on the street, but forces himself to keep walking away from her.
If the ending had him "reconnect" with his lost love, that would had been inconsistent with the rest of the film. But the sacrifice of this time traveling protagonist, as kept in the film, fits well.
The Director's cut has Kutcher's character strangle himself as a fetus? Please! I thought "Twelve Monkeys" was a depressing time travel film. If they kept this ending, Prozac could had officially sponsored the plunge into despair.
When saving one life destroys another
Elisabeth | 08/24/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Evan (Ashton Kutcher) is a young man who's blocked out specific events from his memory...events that not only traumatized Evan , but also traumatized two of his friends as well as the brother of one of those friends. Determined to get those memories back, Evan figures out a way to travel back in time to revisit those memories. However, what he uncovers is so disturbing that he now wants to change those events so the future can turn out better for both him and his friends.
But no matter how hard he tries, changing the past doesn't create the happy ending Evan is hoping for, which frustrates him. When he tries to save one person, another person ends up getting mentally and/or physically crippled ... and some even get killed. Soon, Evan becomes obsessed with trying to get the past right and starts losing his mind in the process.
It's only when he stops trying to control everything that he eventually sets everyone free....but it's also tragic in what he has to do to make that happen.
I'm used to seeing Ashton Kutcher play dopey roles in "That 70's Show" and "Dude, Where's my Car?", so I didn't know if Kutcher could pull off a serious role. He did surprisingly well. The supporting characters are also convincing in their roles, too. Evan's childhood male friend is especially chilling in the bedroom scene where we see how Evan's actions changed his future.
Just a word of warning, when it's revealed what really happened in Evan's childhood, it's pretty disturbing what's revealed. You don't actually see what happens in graphic detail (thank goodness), but it is implied so your imagination fills in the blanks.
Overall, I thought this was a compelling story. The beginning starts out mysteriously as you see a little boy go into these fugue states and you don't know why, but are curious to know why. It's also compelling to see if Evan can ever right what went wrong in his past.