Directed by: Tony Scott
Premise: An ATF agent investigating a murder linked to a terrorist bombing is drafted into the service of a government agency that has found a way to spy on the past in real time.
What Works: Déjà Vu is an effective thriller. Director Tony Scott uses his skills at building tension to create some satisfying suspense. Adam Goldberg is very successful providing comic relief as a sarcastic technician.
What Doesn’t: The film’s premise is difficult to swallow, given the realistic tone of the rest of the picture. Where other films have used more far-fetched premises, Déjà Vu has a tough time selling it within the context of the picture. Despite the destruction that he causes, the villain of the story (Jim Caviezel), is not very threatening and a stock domestic terrorist. Also cliché is the physics lesson, which is ripped right out of science fiction films like Event Horizon. The bending time and space scenario is well worn and this film only uses it to invert the clock element, not to do anything new with the implications of these concepts. The story has a number of plot holes involving the shifting point of view that are never resolved. A certain amount of confusion is given in this kind of story, but Déjà Vu leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
Bottom Line: Déjà Vu is no 12 Monkeys, but it is entertaining. The film retreads the conventions of the serial killer film and tries to create something new by combining it with elements of other films. Instead of being new or fresh, Déjà Vu instead feels like a disjointed patchwork of other films.
Episode: #120 (December 3, 2006)