“Hey, everyone! Let’s remake The Butterfly Effect, just without any of the goofiness that made the first film so enjoyable!”
That would seem to be the logic behind 2006’s The Butterfly Effect 2. Since the first Butterfly Effect was a minor hit (I saw it in the theaters!), it was inevitable that there would be a sequel. And since the first Butterfly Effect is currently on Netflix, it’s also inevitable that the sequel would follow it.
Anyway, Butterfly Effect 2 is just like Butterfly Effect except, instead of a guy trying to fix his entire screwed-up childhood, the sequel is about an office worker named Nick (Eric Lively) who has just had a really bad year. His girlfriend and his two best friends were killed in a traffic accident. He lost a big promotion at work. His apartment is a mess and he keeps having these hella icky nosebleeds. Agck! Nick, however, discovers that if he stares at an old picture, he can be transported back to the moment that the picture was taken.
Since Nick obviously didn’t see the first movie, he proceeds to start changing the past. He prevents the deaths of all of his friends but now, in the new timeline, he actually has to work with them and this results in him getting fired. He then goes back in the past to keep a jerk from getting a promotion but this leads to Nick getting the promotion instead, breaking up with his girlfriend, and becoming an ennui-stricken bachelor. Apparently, being a wealthy bachelor means doing business with organized crime because Nick soon has people trying to kill him. Maybe there’s no way to create a perfect present, the film suggests.
And the film might be right but that doesn’t make it any less boring to sit through. The Butterfly Effect 2 is just never as much fun as the first film. It lacks the goofy charm of Ashton Kutcher and most of the timeline changes are rather dull. The sequel never matches the glory of Ashton Kutcher waking up to discover that he’s gone from being a disheveled psych major to being a clean-cut, sweater-wearing frat boy.
The Butterfly Effect 2 was directed by John Leonetti, who would later direct the genuinely creepy Annabelle. Of course, he also directed the absolutely awful Wolves at the Door. As for The Butterflyn Effect 2, it’s not creepy but it’s also not awful enough to be memorable. More than anything, it’s a bland movie. It’s just kind of there, floating in direct-to-video, Netflix limbo.