I’m continuing my efforts to clean out my DVR. I just finished watching the 2009 film, The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations. I recorded this film off of Cinemax way back in June. To be honest, I was surprised when I came across it because I have absolutely no memory of having recorded it. I can only hope that it wasn’t recorded by a time traveler because, after seeing enough Butterfly Effects, you know that nothing good comes from time travel!
The Butterfly Effect 3 starts in medias res. Sam Reide (Chris Carmack) already knows how to jump back and forth in time and, even more importantly, he already knows all of the dangers. He knows that he can’t change the past. He can’t try to help people. He can’t do anything but stay hidden and observe because the least little alteration to the past could totally screw up the present. And, as we all know, studying the past is the present that we give to the future. (GAG! Seriously, though, I’ve been looking for a excuse to say that for like 10 years now.) So, the good thing here is that we don’t have to sit through a lot of pointless scenes of Sam learning what we already know.
Sam actually has a pretty good scam going. He goes back into the past, observes a murder taking place, and then tells the police who committed the crime. He’s convinced that cops that he’s a psychic, which I guess cops would be more likely to believe than that he’s a time traveler. I don’t know. Whatever. We’ll go with it. Helping Sam out is his sister, Jenna (Rachel Miner). Jenna, we’re told, would be dead if not for the fact that Sam jumped into the past and saved her from a house fire. Of course, by doing that, he also accidentally killed off his parents! That’s how Sam learned not to mess with the past! As a result, despite his ability to time travel, Sam leads a pretty squalid existence. He drinks at the local bar. He hangs out in the worst sections of Detroit. He visits Jenna in her run-down apartment. And yet, he doesn’t use time travel to invest in Facebook or anything like that because he knows that it’ll change the present. That’s dedication!
Sam is also still mourning the murder of his girlfriend. (Has anything ever gone right in Sam’s life?) The man convicted of her murder is due to be executed but Sam has reason to believe that the man might be innocent. When Sam visits the man and lets him know that he’s going to go to the past to prove the man’s innocence, the man is not impressed. According to the man, Sam is the murderer!
Anyway, Sam starts jumping into the past to see what really happened but, of course, he can’t help himself and he ends up changing stuff. As a result, the presents gets messed up though not as dramatically as it did in some of the previous Butterfly Effect films. For instance, the slutty bartender is suddenly engaged. At one point, Sam wakes up to find out that he no longer has an apartment. It’s kind of weak. (To be honest, this film might have worked better if it had just been a time traveling mystery as opposed to a Butterfly Effect film.) The mystery, however, is intriguing and the film ends with a somewhat satisfying twist. As far as third entries in bad franchises are concerned, The Butterfly Effect 3 is actually better than you would probably expect it to be.