Deja Vu is a 2006 film directed by the late Tony Scott (1944-2012) starring Denzel Washington, Paula Patton and Jim Caviezel. It is based on a story by writers Bill Marsilii and Terri Rossio. You can never go wrong with a movie if Denzel is in it. You are almost always guaranteed an entertaining one or two hours with his performance and he always delivers the best he can be to the particular role of each film. This was Tony Scott’s second Denzel Washington movie (first being Man On Fire – 2004) and went on to direct two more with him (Taking of Pelham 123 and Unstopabble). For a movie before 2010, and from the many others we’ve seen after, Deja Vu stands out with great action and edge-of-the-seat suspense. Throw in a little Sci-Fi and you’ve got a box office hit.
!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!
You’ve passed the spoilers warning, so it’s safe to assume you’ve seen this movie and know that it is a time traveling one. If not, well, now it’s too late and you’ve just learned the meaning of the word ‘spoilers.’ Yay a time traveling movie! Did it make you think? For a time traveling movie, they did a good job by not complicating the idea and explain it to us in a short and simple way. By the way, there aren’t any deja vu scenes until the very end where he is sitting and thinking in the car and then laughing saying “Nah,” which was a great and humorous ending. The story and scenes are easy to follow if you’re paying attention. The technology of the Snow White military program is amazing. Accessing cameras and viewing things from lots of angles made me think of TV series Person of Interest, which has similar technology and, and this is the best part, the main actor is Jim Caviezel.
Denzel Washington plays his usual character, the guy trying to help anybody and fix things between people and situations. As always, never a dull moment with him. He brings himself fully to the screen with his humour, his intelligence and his cold stares. Jim Caviezel plays a great bad guy. I’ve said this before in our movie review, Paradise Lost, that there are some bad guys that we end up liking and this is the case, at least for me, with Jim. But since he’s a chameleon with all his roles, portraying any kind of person, he always does a good job with his acting. I mean, he’s best known for his role as Jesus Christ in The Passion of The Christ, and there have been many actors playing as Jesus in other films about him.
I like Tony Scott’s directing. It’s fast, filled with action and each scene is as long as it needs to be; no dragging. Remember Top Gun? Yeah, he did that one. It’s really cool how 3/4 of the film is leading up to the point of him going back in time and then it’s only in the last 30 minutes of the film where goes back in time and fixes things.
The ending where he drowns is important because if he hadn’t, there would have been two of him running around in the same present. Maybe he knew this when he told Claire that if the car doesn’t go off of the boat, everyone will die from the explosion. But then we see him struggling to break free from the sinking car. He had to die in order for the timeline to be “okay” again. He isn’t exactly future Denzel, he’s just parallel future Denzel. So since he’s from a parallel reality, past Denzel never dies since he can never be affected. But this all depends on which film plays with which time travel idea. There are some where the past changes the future of that same person and some where there is a multiverse and no matter how many times you kill your grandfather, you will never be affected because you are not killing your past grandfather from your timeline, but the past grandfather from a parallel reality to a different you or another version of you.
Great directing, great acting and great soundtrack! The soundtrack is the typical one for action/suspense movies. End credits’ song “Coming Back To You” by Macy Gray was perfect because of the first line: “I’ve been here before.” Those kinds of details make me smile and think, “Well done. Great execution.” I also love how the film ends with the shot of Denzel being stopped and fade into black. I love those endings. To me, it’s a sign of a unique work.
An entertaining and great movie to enjoy. Just ask anyone who’s seen it. “Did you see Deja Vu?” “Oh yeah!”
Thanks for reading my review!
– Nick Andersen