Butterfly Effect, The (2004): Sci-Fi Thriller Starring Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart

Written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, The Butterfly is a sci-fi-thriller that catapulted handsome actor Ashton Kutcher to a major league.

The title refers to the butterfly effect, a hypothetical situation about how small initial differences could  lead to large unforeseen consequences over time.

The film sort of contradicts the hypothesis by showing only how the consequences change over time.

Kutcher plays college student Evan Treborn, and Amy Smart is his childhood sweetheart Kayleigh Miller.

The other central characters are William Lee Scott as her sadistic brother Tommy, and Elden Henson as neighbor Lenny.

Evan has the ability to travel back in time to inhabit his former self and to change the present by changing his past behaviors.

Having been the victim of childhood traumas aggravated by stress-induced memory losses, he attempts to set things right for himself and his friends.

The narrative unfolds in a series of flashbacks of the characters’ lives at ages 7 and 13.

And for a while, it’s intriguing to see alternative present-day outcomes as Evan attempts to change the past, before the final outcome.

Despite negative reviews, the film was a commercial hit, earning $96 million at the box-office against a modest budget of $13 million.  The success was attributed to the film’s appeal among young students and Kutcher’s rising star power (which did not last long)

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