Archive for Val Kilmer

Film Review: Deja Vu (2006)

Posted in Other with tags , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by innothingwetrust


I won’t expend too much energy on this: Deja Vu is comfortably one of the stupidest films I’ve ever seen. Here’s the premise:

An explosion on a boat kills lots of innocent people. Denzel Washington is an investigator on the case (yawn). He impresses Val Kilmer with his police work and eye for a clue so much that he asks him to join his team. But this isn’t just any team, this is a top secret experimental team using top secret experimental techniques. What techniques? Well, it’s simple really: The government were messing around in their labs and happened to stumble upon space-time folding technology which would create a wormhole in the very fabric of existence allowing us to see exactly 4 days, 6 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds and 14.5 nanoseconds back into the past. Helpfully, this wormhole-window is beamed into the TV screens in the police unit’s top secret base (seemingly a warehouse with minimal security), allowing the time-cops to view past events and look for evidence. Even more helpfully, this past-world is fully 3-dimensional and fully navigatable. Somehow the wormhole allows us to fly around like a computer game and enter any property we like within the relevant zone – oh yeah, unfortunately the wormhole only focuses on a small area. Fortunately, that area is directly on and around the boat explosion. You can’t see outside of this area with the conventional technology, so helpfully again the government have devised a time-helmet with a time-camera on it which Denzel can don and travel outside of the focus zone (in the present world) and beam back pictures from the past in that area to his buddies.

But it doesn’t stop there! There is also a time-oven which the team can put things in and transport them into the past, such as a note with a tip-off for one of the policemen working on the case. And not just send it back in time, but put it precisely where they want, like on a table where the cop will see it. Brilliant technology. But they can only send simple objects back. They have never tried to send anything complex or organic like an animal or even a human – there’s no way in hell they would do that. It’s just too risky, it’s never been tried before, we don’t know the consequences, it’s out of the question. Unless of course Denzel insists and they try it and it just works perfectly first time.

Doesn’t make sense? Don’t worry, it didn’t make sense to the film’s writers either, which is why they wrote in Adam Goldberg – a cookie-cuttered film nerd whose only purpose is exposition and who mostly runs around waving his arms saying, “Look, we don’t know how this technology works either, but it does work so let’s just run with it!”. The blatant inadequacy of his explanations is covered up by quite annoying sarcasm and his theory that the past they are looking back into is in fact a separate branch of time (think Back to the Future, the diagram he draws is almost identical to Doc Brown’s) contradicts the fact that these two dimensions keep communicating with each other. Like the note they send back. Like the fact that Denzel’s fingerprints are inexplicably all over an apartment at the beginning of the film, explained later by the fact that when he goes back in time, he goes to that apartment and so has ‘already been there’, despite the fact that the apartment he goes back in time to is supposed to be in a different dimension. Like the fact that Washington has a voicemail on his phone in the ‘real’ world which we see is left by a woman in the ‘past’ world – a different dimension apparently!

There’s science fiction, and then there is this. I mean, I can suspend my disbelief when watching a film as long as the events make sense within that context. ‘Suspension of disbelief’ is not a licence for film makers to just do literally whatever they want, it still has to make sense. Deja Vu is one of the most nonsensical attempts at ‘high-octane’ sci-fi I’ve ever seen.

Also I really don’t get the big deal with Denzel Washington. Is he really that good an actor? I guess it’s hard to judge from this particular performance as trying to make such drivel look convincing is like trying to hammer in a nail with a turd. However, you would have thought that a more intelligent actor would have looked at the script, thought about it for one second and rejected it along with all the other proposals he gets which go on to premier in the bargain bucket of petrol stations worldwide. And make no mistake, if it weren’t for Washington’s inclusion that is exactly where this movie would have ended up. It is a B-movie with a blockbuster budget. Perhaps old Wash’ had more interest in his salary at this time than his artistic integrity – it seems the only logical explanation.

So what good can I say about Deja Vu? Well, not much. I guess the fact that I actually managed to watch it from start to finish has it going for it. It was ‘action-packed’ and the boat explosion looked cool. The story surrounding Denzel’s partner’s death is quite sad. Jim Cavaziel is good as the crazed chain-smoking terrorist nutter, even if the terrible script really doesn’t give his character any motivation for his actions whatsoever. And that’s it. The rest is ridiculous.

RATING: 2/10


Tenacious D: To be the Best

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by innothingwetrust


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