Film (2006). Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films present a Scott Free production. Directed by Tony Scott. Written by Bill Marsilii, Terry Rossio. Cast includes Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton and Denzel Washington. 126 minutes. Colour.
In this Time-Travel action film, a federal agent (Washington) investigates the bombing of a ferry in New Orleans. He is approached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with a request that he join a special task-force trialling new technology to help solve the crime. The secret technology turns out to be a Time Viewer, through which events of exactly four days prior can be observed. The view into the past may be moved in space, but always remains fixed four days before the present, giving the team only one opportunity to study the bombing. When he learns that it is theoretically possible to use the equipment as a Time Machine, the agent insists on being sent back, where he acts to change the time stream.
Déjà Vu is a proficient enough thriller, anchored by Denzel Washington going through the motions in yet another law-enforcement role. The passive nature of the time viewing equipment provides for an interesting atypical second act, notably a car chase scene where Washington must pursue a suspect in the past by following the same route in the present. However once the hero actually time travels, the film settles into an unremarkable action climax. [JN]
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