Déjà Vu (9/10)
by Tony Medley
I’m a sucker for time warp
movies. As readers of this column should know by now, my all time
favorite is “Final Countdown” (1980). Since then they’ve come and
they’ve gone. Some have been pretty good, some not so good.
Now, however, comes one that
rivals “Final Countdown.” “Déjà Vu” is so good I forgot I was in a
theater while I was watching it. Just about the best writing I’ve read
was accomplished by Susan Howatch in “Cashelmara.” There was a period in
the middle of the book, about 150 pages, that I simply could not read
fast enough, it was so compelling. About halfway into this too long Tony
Scott thriller, Scott’s expert direction of Déjà Vu mimics Howatch’s
mastery. I was totally lost in the film. An atomic bomb could have
exploded and I don’t think I would have noticed.
Doug Carlin (Denzel
Washington, who is as good as he always is) is an ATF agent who is
called into an investigation of the explosion of a ferry boat full of
passengers. He’s asked by FBI Agent Pryzwarra (Val Kilmer) to join his
elite unit to discover the perp. Doug is immediately swept up in a
secret, futuristic computer program that can recapture the past, but
only in real time, and only 4-1/2 days ago. No replays.
The concept is so well
presented that it has ostensible credibility. In fact, I thought what
made “Final Countdown” so good was that not only did it have a credible
premise, but the outcome was equally credible, so long as you buy the
premise. So, too, with Déjà Vu.
Jim Caviezel turns 180
degrees from playing Jesus in “Passion of the Christ” to playing Carroll
Oerstadt, a mad bomber, and he is as believable a mad bomber as he was
as Jesus. Although we first meet her as a mutilated corpse, we get to
meet Claire Kuchever (Paula Patton) in what would normally be called a
flashback, but in this film it isn’t. You’ll have to see the film to
Tony Scott has directed such
an inventive film, written by Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio, that I
don’t want to tell much more of the plot. When at their best Scott and
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer know how to make a movie that keeps its pace
throughout, and they are at their best here.
That’s enough. If you like
time warp movies and want to find out more, go see the film.
November 16, 2006