The new wave of 2’s are entering the video market, and studios are throwing out sequels left and right to earn a few bucks from their cash cows like it’s going out of style. One of the first out of the gate is a sequel to the ridiculous and utterly absurd “The Butterfly Effect” called—are you ready?—“The Butterfly Effect 2.” And if viewers do a little searching for an hour or two, they may know who the principle cast are.
Unlike the other makeshift franchises, “The Butterfly Effect 2” continues the original’s formula in which it centers on the theory of the actual butterfly effect. If one little element of the environment is changed, then basically the ripple effect is unpredictable and hard to bring back to normal. The sequel however reliant on the formula it may be, feels much more like “The Time Machine” in the end.
The story is now based around dreamy fate instead of violent circumstances, and now our character Nick is more like a Wells stalwart than a Jesus Christ entity. “The Butterfly Effect 2” is not so much better than the original, but is different in that it’s more based around attempted characterization and plot twists. And it brings more to the table than others straight to video sequels of late.
Not to mention the director is intent on showing off Erica Durance’s “adult” side, breaking her away from her pre-teen audience back at “Smallville” which means a full on sex scene sans the nudity. Eric Lively is much more tolerable as our reluctant hero who learns that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Lively is subdued and even when playing a heel can manage to bring the audience to his side.
Our resident slider is now a man who discovers he can travel through time thanks to pictures. And the ripple effects of the good intention of bringing back his pregnant wife and friends who died in a violent car accident, results in a corruption of power. Now he’s the poison in the stream who wants what he thinks he deserves, and he begins ruining the lives of those around him in the process. He’s now more of a selfish pariah than a martyr.
This unnecessary sequel to a lackluster quasi-science fiction film really only tells us that power corrupts, and that simplistic message pads about ninety minutes of a rather forgettable film based around upper class angst and love triangles, and Nick’s attempts to adapt to the worlds he creates with his mind. Gone is the camp and vain existentialism and in comes the bland melodrama and results of time travel that are never as catastrophic as the original’s; not surprisingly enough, the film ends like a sequel to “Final Destination” and never really becomes a competent enough film.
Surprisingly, though, “The Butterfly Effect 2” is a better film than its original, but that’s not saying much when you remember what the original brought with it.