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  Publicity Stills of "Deja Vu"
(Courtesy from BVI)

Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Director: Tony Scott
Starring: Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton, Bruce Greenwood, Adam Goldberg, Jim Caviezel
RunTime: 2 hrs 7 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 7 December 2006

Synopsis :

Everyone has experienced the unsettling mystery of deja vu that flash of memory when you meet someone new you feel you've known all your life or recognize a place even though you've never been there before. But what if the feelings were actually warnings sent from the past or clues to the future? In the captivating new action-thriller from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott, written by Terry Rossio & Bill Marsilii, it is deja vu that unexpectedly guides ATF agent Doug Carlin (DENZEL WASHINGTON) through an investigation into a shattering crime. Called in to recover evidence after a bomb sets off a cataclysmic explosion on a New Orleans Ferry, Carlin is about to discover that what most people believe is only in their heads is actually something far more powerful and will lead him on a mind-bending race to save hundreds of innocent people.

Movie Review:

Deja vu, that sense of having already experienced the current situation. It could be a trick of the mind, or a daydream, but frankly a phenomenon that this movie is capitalizing on, making it central to its time bending storyline.

Tony Scott reunites with Denzel Washington in this action thriller set in post Katrina New Orleans. A passenger ferry has been ripped apart by a bomb, and the authorities are sparing no effort to bring the culprit to justice. Even when it means breaking out new technology which offers a peak into the past, and perhaps even more, though they still require the detective skills of Doug Carlin (Washington), with experience in the Oklahoma incident, to help start searching for that perennial needle in the haystack.

If you're of the opinion that all movies manipulating timelines are hokey because of the implausibility in addressing the space time continuum convincingly, then Deja Vu is not the movie for you. Loopholes are always abound in such stories unless you adopt the singular
point of view of the protagonist, and embark on the journey through his perspective. It might not make much sense if you choose to nit pick, but it doesn't mean that compromising and suspending your disbelief would make this movie any less enjoyable.

Deja vu, that sense of having already experienced the current situation. It could be a trick of the mind, or a daydream, but at certain times you can see a number of references to movies like Minority Report, The Terminator, and even Timecop. Depending on how you look at it, you might stretch your imagination a little to assume references from a certain Jim Caviezel character, and he too has been in a time bending movie before. But for sure though, the technology employed in this movie seem like a precursor, and a less fantastical one, to Minority Report's pre-crime unit and its use of the pre-cogs.

I won't spoil your fun by attempting to explain the details of the science fiction element in the movie, but combining it with some good old police investigation with a CSI-ish element in it, somehow makes Deja Vu an enjoyable hybrid. Denzel Washington again exudes his sheer enigmatic presence whenever he's in the scene, but here's a role that is quite generic and didn't exactly exercise his acting range, while it was a pleasant welcome to see Val Kilmer back on the silver screen, although again he plays the wingman here as FBI Agent Pryzwarra.

There are many moments in the movie where you might think you know where it's headed, and at times make you wonder about the showcase of technology, one involving a pretty interesting and innovative chase sequence which I thought was something quite refreshing. Tony Scott too seemed to have woken to the idea that too many quick cuts done to an overkill fashion in his previous movie Domino goes unappreciated, and here, that is cut back dramatically, even though the pacing is frantic, leading to a finale filled with adequate tension.

A definite must for Denzel fans, and clearly a recommended popcorn flick for the weekend. Just don't try to crack your brains in deciphering the possible loopholes.

Movie Rating:

(It's excellent play of the deja vu phenomenon combned with science fiction technology
makes Deja Vu absolutely fun)

Review by Stefan Shih


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