Saturday, March 15, 2008

Deja Vu

Yet another underrated movie. This time with one of my very favorite actors, Denzel Washington. I have loved DW in pretty much anything he has ever done, even the really bad movies where nothing else is good but him. I have especially liked him in movies where he plays against type, like in "Training Day." An excellent perf.

"Deja Vu" got a lot of flak for being confusing when it was out in the theaters last year and I can understand that. It begins as a fairly straightforward terrorist/murder story that ATF agent Denzel has to solve. Then it turns into something more when Val Kilmer introduces him to a technology that reconstructs the past in a continuing flow of visual images somehow based on satellites. Our man is skeptical but goes along with it until finally, he figures out it's an actual link to the past. The question remains: can he/they make enough changes in the past to alter the outcome of the future? Is the past fixed? Are there alternate timelines or a single one and what happens if you can change something in the past?

It's all fascinating and very well-done. I didn't need to pause and ask HH for his input or rewind to see or hear something again. I appreciated that there were no red herrings in terms of the murder suspect, nothing that would be a "whoa" moment in terms of the people we were getting to know. I do wish we had gotten to know DW's partner better, if we had seen him in a scene or two before he died so we could feel more for him when that does happen - and to empathize with Denzel when he realizes it doesn't matter what he does, the man will perish anyway. I wanted to feel more of his sense of futility and renewed determination to save someone.

Kudos to Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio on the script and of course, to Denzel for bringing the character to life.