The Butterfly Effect 2 (2006)

When The Butterfly Effect 2 beats its wings, it creates a tidal wave of dull, meandering and pointless nonsense that consumes anyone unfortunate enough to watch it. If you hated the original, loved the original or haven’t even bothered to watch the original, don’t even consider checking out the sequel. It is simply terrible.

Nick is a workaholic, dedicated to getting a promotion at his corporate offices. On the day of his girlfriend’s twenty-fourth birthday he callously decides to go back to work rather than continue with the celebrations. This decision leads to the deaths of his girl and two friends in a car accident. One year later, still distraught and grossly unhappy, he somehow transports himself back in time to the moment before the crash and saves their lives. Realizing he has the ability to time-shift through photos and change his potential future, Nick begins to use the power for his own benefit, but it never seems to work out in the long run. As he gets deeper and deeper into trouble, Nick realizes he needs to find a way out before he destroys everything he’s ever known and loved…

Those not fresh to the concept will find the initial twenty minutes gratingly pointless, especially when it’s filled with patience-rapingly annoying flashbacks of things you saw literally two minutes beforehand. For those who have not seen the original, watch it again instead. Whatever anyone says about the acting smarts of Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart, The Butterfly Effect is a taut, interesting if muddled film, whereas the sequel is just a pile of trite nonsense that is boring and soulless.

The plot is sluggish and dull, revolving around Nick’s workplace and occasionally his unconvincing relationship with girlfriend Julie (Erica Durance). It throws in ideas and twists without thought or reason, and they land in an incongruous and confused heap where you just want them to rot in their own stupidity. Instead, a semblance of plot is threaded through these scenes that is distinctly unrewarding.

Our protagonist Nick is played by TV Veteran Eric Lively, a sub-standard Ben Affleck who tends to have less skill and charisma than his predecessor, which is a shocking statement considering that was Ashton Kutcher. Unlike Kutcher’s Evan, Lively’s Nick is an immoral bastard, a tragically unsympathetic character. His journey is one that is hard to relate to or even remotely care about, especially since he is so utterly humourless. His actions are nearly entirely based on greed rather than love, and his indifference to other people’s feelings is immensely frustrating. He is not alone in being unlikable, however, as the majority of the cast are thinly created and incredibly forgettable at best. Even the normally reliable Andrew Airlie seems tired and uninspired by the material he is faced with.

The script rolls with cliché – “As long as we have each other, that’s all that counts” – and drags every scene on for far too long. It jams in the usual cliché of “success doesn’t make you happy” and is so pathetically predictable it’s close to embarrassing. From the writer of Octopus 2, I’ll Always Know What Did Last Summer and the lamentably confused Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3-D, it’s little surprise Weiss’s script fails to do anything remotely good for anyone.

The Butterfly Effect 2 is simply very dull. It does nothing new, it does nothing interesting and it does nothing well. It merely bumbles along, confused and stupid, until it ends exactly how you’d expect it to. This film is a waste of everyone’s time. Avoid.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

One Comment on “The Butterfly Effect 2”

  1. Sarah Law says:

    I could not agree more with this review. I hated every torturous minute of this movie. All the characters were either arseholes or morons and none of it made any sense whatsoever. What a waste of time…..

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