» » Deja Vu (2006)

Short summary

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.
A ferry filled with crewmen from the USS Nimitz and their families was blown up in New Orleans on Mardi Gras. BATF Doug Carlin is brought in to assist in the massive investigation, and gets attached to an experimental FBI surveillance unit, one that uses spacefolding technology to directly look back a little over four days into the past. While tracking down the bomber, Carlin gets an idea in his head: could they use the device to actually travel back in time and not only prevent the bombing but also the murder of a local woman whose truck was used in the bombing?

Trailers "Deja Vu (2006)"

The movie went through pre-production in New Orleans. Just a few weeks before production was to begin, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. With the location in ruins, the movie made the decision to find a new location to shoot. A few weeks after the decision, canceling the movie altogether was in talks. Finally, three months after the hurricane, the film returned to New Orleans, Louisiana and began pre-production once again.

Near the end of the car chase, Doug originally said "Jesus" after first seeing Oerstadt's face. This caused the audience at the first preview screening to erupt into laughter, as Jim Caviezel, who played Oerstadt, is famous for playing Jesus in Die Passion Christi (2004). This unintentional reference had gone overlooked by director Tony Scott; he had the line removed from the film before its release.

Jim Caviezel decided, at the last minute, to do the stunt where he is hit by a car himself. If injured, he could have been paralyzed.

Disaster relief teams, who helped through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, were recruited to help make the film. The end credits pay tribute to their bravery.

Tony Scott and Val Kilmer had shirts made for the crew that said "Malcolm X, Jesus Christ, and Jim Morrison: Deja Vu. How Can We Fail?" Denzel Washington played Malcolm X in Malcolm X (1992), Jim Caviezel played Jesus Christ in Die Passion Christi (2004), and Kilmer played Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991).

Scriptwriters Terry Rossio and Bill Marsilii didn't feel Tony Scott recaptured everything in the screenplay. They felt he was more interested in the action scenes, rather than the intricacies of time travel. They wrote a plot that was airtight, but in Scott's hands, the finished product is now filled with plot holes. Rossio was so disillusioned with the film, he's never seen it. Scott also admitted he did a mediocre job directing the film, but blamed that on the nineteen-week production schedule, which wasn't as long as he wanted.

While working on the film, first assistant cameraman Michael S. Endler learned that his father, Gerald Endler, had died. As a tribute to Gerald, a former special effects technician who had actually worked with many of this film's effects crew decades earlier on other projects, Michael was allowed, on the day of shooting the ferry explosion, to place some of his ashes on a gasoline-filled water jug that would be blown up as part of the pyrotechnics of the sequence (which was referred to on call sheets as the "Stumpf Ferry Gerald Endler Memorial Pyro Blast").

There is almost no profanity at all in the film.

The third time Denzel Washington and Tony Scott have worked together. They would collaborate on two other films before Scott's death in 2012. Its also the first film Scott, Washington and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have worked on since Crimson Tide - In tiefster Gefahr (1995), and the last film Scott and Bruckheimer would work on after six collaborations.

Tony Scott, Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, and Jim Caviezel held a news conference upon their arrival to New Orleans to announce their intention to employ the local New Orleans community and incorporate post-Katrina New Orleans into the film.

The ferry explosion was the biggest stunt ever filmed in New Orleans. They were very environmentally conscious about it.

The original setting for the film was Long Island, New York before Tony Scott changed it to New Orleans, Louisiana.

Val Kilmer noted that one of the reasons he wanted to work with Denzel Washington, was that his kids once went to the same Los Angeles school as his own two children.

Elle Fanning has a part in the film. Denzel Washington and Tony Scott worked with her sister Dakota Fanning on Mann unter Feuer (2004).

United States Navy personnel from several area commands, served as extras.

The lab set was built on a sound stage in Los Angeles by production designer Chris Seagers. Seagers wanted to combine a raw-edged, high-tech feel, in which everything is digital, and state-of-the-art; yet have exposed cables, wires, and ducts, to provide a sense of reality.

Dr. Denny's line, "I need more cowbell", is a reference to the Saturday Night Live Blue Öyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" sketch in Saturday Night Live: Christopher Walken/Christina Aguilera (2000), during which Christopher Walken demands "more cowbell" in the song.

Denzel Washington enjoyed a brief break during the production, to congratulate his son on signing with the St. Louis Rams, on May 1, 2006, as an undrafted free agent.

The first Tony Scott film to be rated PG-13 since Tage des Donners (1990).

In the film the scientists describe how they caused the northeast blackout of 2003 in order to produce enough power to fuel their time machine. In reality, it would take more energy than our Sun will produce in its entire lifetime in order to not only create but maintain an Einstein-Rosen bridge of such size and capability.

The radio disc jockey heard announcing the time (10:48) at both ends of the film is ''Shotgun Tom' Kelly' of K-Earth 101 FM, Los Angeles.

The film makes use of surveillance technology similar to Tony Scott's earlier film Der Staatsfeind Nr. 1 (1998). A lot of the equipment is real.

When Oerstadt raises his arm in what likes like a Nazi salute, it's actually a Klan salute; he's raised his left arm instead of the right, with his fingers spread and his thumb tucked under. For most Americans, it's a distinction without a difference.

This is the second film about the past and present overlapping with one another that Jim Caviezel has been in. The first was Frequency (2000).

New post-Katrina Louisiana legislation provided a 25 percent investors rebate for this film, plus 10 percent employment credit for local hires (unless the salary exceeded one million dollars).

Stephen Tobolowsky was considered for the role of Carroll Oerstadt.

When they are initially looking back to Claire's house, as the camera is identifying and zooming in on, and through, her front door, you can clearly hear a set of tones that are identical to the tones that come from the computer display in Gaff's spinner in Blade Runner (1982) toward the beginning of that film. Ridley Scott, who directed Blade Runner (1982), is the older brother of the late Tony Scott.

Denzel Washington considers his character the voice of the audience.

The ATF is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in New Orleans. It is a unique law enforcement agency in the United State Department of Justice. They protect the community from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use trade of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson, bombing, and terrorism, and the illegal division of alcohol and tobacco products.

When filming the explosions in the fish camp scene, the camera crew were so close to the flames, they wore Navy style anti-flash gear.

Tony Scott wanted Paula Patton's dress to look as if it had burned its way into her skin.

The 23rd most successful film worldwide of 2006.

The first person to see the script was Jerry Bruckheimer.

The crew also worked with the city's New Orleans EMS using their EMS units old and new. The EMS personal were also hired to play background extras. All but 3-4 of the EMS personnel seen in the movie are Real NOEMS personnel. The entire EMS personnel wore their own uniforms. Also the Director of EMS was used as the EMS consultant.

The scenes with the talking technicians take up forty minutes of the film.

Jim Caviezel was nervous about performing some of the stunts in the film, but he just decided to put his trust in the stunt people.

The crew worked with the Port of New Orleans, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Orleans Levee Board, West Jefferson Levee District, and numerous local residents in preparing for the production.

The Humvee driven by Doug, is based on a real-life robot Highlander built by Carnegie Mellon's Red Team for the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.

" Deja Vu" was one of the most expensive script purchases of all time, costing an astronomical $4.5m.

Denzel Washington and Matt Craven worked together 11 years earlier in Crimson Tide (1995).

This script, co-written by Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio, was started by Marsilii in 1997.

Bruce Greenwood and Denzel Washington previously worked together on the 1980s series St. Elsewhere.

The cast and crew of the movie, who did not live in the immediate area, stayed at two of New Orleans' signature properties, the Renaissance Pere Marquette, and the Renaissance Arts, for the duration of the filming.

The ferry incident is Mardi Gras Day (a.k.a. Fat Tuesday). On Mardi Gras Day, the ferry service is pedestrian only for security reasons. And also, there was a school bus full of school children on it. All schools in the New Orleans area are closed for the holiday.

The Hummer was an all terrain vehicle during the chase scene, something Tony Scott insisted on.

At 1h 20m 42s the camera purports to be outside Tropical Isle's Bourbon, 721 Bourbon St, New Orleans.

This movie focuses on a ferry bombing orchestrated by the character played by Jim Caviezel. Caviezel also starred in Person of Interest (2011), where a ferry bombing is a pivotal event.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Unereel
    It's a real shame that everything I had read about Déjà Vu concerned the high-powered explosions and loud clatter of guru/producer Jerry Bruckheimer. No mention, except maybe as a footnote, was given to A-list director Tony Scott and the magic he has woven in his past three films. The man who brought us Top Gun has seen a sort of revival in style lately with the entertaining Spy Game, the amazing Man on Fire, and the kinetic Domino. Scott has taken the quick cuts of music videos and has infused them into his shooting style. His editor better be making some good money as these films fly by with filters, jump-cuts, grain, and camera angles swiveling at every turn. Greatly overshadowed by brother Ridley Scott and his more serious, award-winning epics, Tony has been pumping out some of the most solid and entertaining films of the past couple decades. With a reuniting of semi-regular star Denzel Washington, Déjà Vu proves that when Bruckheimer is paired with a like mind, his usual drivel can become great. Scott shows us how to hone the explosions, noise, and clutter to an effective level and gives us a helluva ride.

    Déjà Vu could have easily reduced itself to timetravel farce, going by the books to show a time warp in order to solve a crime. The far-fetched premise of being able to see the past as it happens four and a half days later should seem crazy and by watching the previews you are given the idea that it will be just a series of do-overs. Fortunately the trailers these days show a totally different movie than what has been crafted. Scott and his screenwriters have not only developed a sci-fi tale seeped in enough reality to at least be looked upon as plausible for the sake of the story, but they nicely tidy up any chance of their being a plothole. Our story begins with a devastating domestic terrorist act upon a ferry carrying over 500 people, Navy and family. Washington's ATF agent is brought in and discovers that it was no accident. Intrigued by the efficiency he displays, an FBI agent, played with nicely effective restraint by Val Kilmer, calls him in to check out a new toy they have to find who the perpetrator is. During the use of this screen of the past, Denzel acquires a feeling of obligation to do all he can to prevent what he sees from occurring in the present, no matter what consequences that might entail for the future. The quest to stop the violence begins with an attractive young woman who unknowingly has become an integral part in what will ultimately transpire.

    The beauty of this film is that with multiple timelines being shown parallel to each other, there are many questions that desperately need answering. To credit all involved, they appear to have put themselves in the audience's shoes and piece-by-piece wrote in a reason for everything. Anything that is seen either in the past, present, or future has a reason for being there and will be intelligently explained. Also, the performances are stellar, Denzel and Kilmer as well as a quietly maniacal Jim Caviezel and the emotionally exasperated Paula Patton, and the visuals unique. While Scott has toned down the ultra-kinetic cuts and filters for the main action, his style is still stamped on the graphics of their screen showing the past. The motion trails and speed scans lend a stylized digital editing program feel and are gorgeous to watch. Déjà Vu's best sequence, however, is the crazy car chase during the present in pursuit of a vehicle in the past, definitely a rush and orchestrated almost flawlessly. Even though Ridley gets the accolades and Tony gets the hack/overproduced label, I must say, while they are the best directing duo in Hollywood, I might have to give the edge on pure cinematic entertainment to the younger Tony. He is on a roll and doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon.
  • comment
    • Author: Tantil
    I'd say this movie definitely lived up to expectations I had from the ad trailers. A good mix of science fiction and cop drama, with the occasional good joke. Both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Denzel entertained as usual, as did Adam Goldberg. Don't be turned off by the professional reviewers. Those guys can never seem to enjoy a movie that's content with being slightly unbelievable. If I always wanted believable, I'd stick to documentaries or the news. There won't be any Oscars coming out of it, but it was a action-filled thriller that kept me guessing till the end. If you liked the Island, this is right up your ally.
  • comment
    • Author: Agalas
    I usually like sci-fi when it's pure sci-fi. I usually like present day drama when it's believably real. Disaster, at least for me, looms large when sci-fi meets real life drama. So here we have a present day crime thriller crossed with sci-fi time travel...And, this movie kicks butt, works so well, in fact, it's nuances should be studied in film school. It's original enough to be compelling-where we are not in some distant future, but the here and now.

    The story, the characters, and the effects mesh well to suspend belief to the point that you "get on-board" and enjoy the ride. This is the way to do sci-fi with believable real life situations. The cinematography, the implementation of technology, and even a beautiful (but presently dead) damsel in distress, combine to give the actors, who are uniformly good to excellent, the boost to put this in rarefied good sci-fi territory. Genre fans are shoo-ins and those who think they don't like sci-fi should enjoy this one too. 7.5 to 8 out of 10.
  • comment
    • Author: Monam
    I was also at that Century City screening last night, and I was probably one of the people who were saying they thought this movie was awesome. I enjoyed it immensely. It has been described as an action-adventure-romance-sci-fi pic and it truly is all of that.

    First of all, the cinematography was stunning. Tony Scott and his DOP, Paul Cameron, do fantastic work -- every shot is beautifully composed. And all the footage that involves a cast of thousands (meaning the crowd scenes) is masterful work.

    I don't know why I started with commenting on the photography (also the editing) of this movie. It's probably because that is what struck me from the very beginning, particularly when there is so much going on in the opening sequence. Yet you never get lost. Above all, the performances and story are great and really suck you in. Yes, this movie requires a fair bit of suspension of disbelief. I would go so far as to say the plot was far-fetched, but the heart of the story just takes you along for the ride.

    For the record, I felt Scott's most recent teaming with Denzel, Man on Fire, was one of the best movies of 2004. I don't think Deja Vu is as good as Man on Fire, but it's right up there as one of the most entertaining and thrilling movies I've seen this year.

    For sheer entertainment and an intriguing (though not flawless) plot, Bruckheimer, Scott and Co. sure have DELIVERED the goods.

    I recommend you see Deja Vu on the big screen with a big, loud audience for maximum enjoyment. Part of the appeal last night was exactly that; hearing the audience -- as one -- laugh, applaud and sigh along with this movie and getting swept up in that communal experience.

    post scriptum -- Any fans of Otto Preminger's wonderful 1994 classic Laura may be delighted by the echoes of that storyline in Deja Vu.
  • comment
    • Author: Danial
    I'll start by saying that I was reluctant to even see this movie but after some insistence by family, I sat and watched in pure enjoyment.

    Articles, reviews, trailers, TV spots, DO NOT do this film justice. Denzel Washington pulls out another great performance as well as an aged Val Kilmer. While some will point out that the plot is hard to swallow, it doesn't matter because it's wrapped up in sheer entertainment. You feel for these characters. There are no holes to be found in either the plot or it's twists. It's believable at the same time unbelievable. If you can get past the middle 20 minutes or so while they explain what the team can do, you're in for a great ride.

    I can't, in three paragraphs, paint a picture like Deja Vu. Of the many films Mr.Washington has put out over the last 4 years or so, this is by far his best if not one of the best of the year.

    Highly recommended for the open-minded.
  • comment
    • Author: Punind
    It has been quite a while since I have seen a film that was this beautifully crafted and nearly flawless. The acting is very convincing and the storyline follows quite closely to a Michael Criton-esquire novel. I was rather surprised at the 6.8 rating this movie has received thus far, and I hope that more positive reviews will come in order for the score to be bumped up to at least the mid 7's. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed by this film. For one thing, it stars Denzel Washington, Jim Cavizel, who I felt did a marvelous job at playing the antagonist, Val Kilmer, and Bruce Greenwood. With these four actors, you typically cannot go wrong. I notice that these four are also never in the tabloids and don't get caught up in the typical Hollywood tripe that is so prevalent today. They have raw talent, are not just getting by on their looks, and their performance, especially in this film, shows it. "Deja Vu" is one of those rare films that grabs a hold of you from the very start and does not let go of you until the very end. People even clapped after the film ended and such applause was well deserved. If you do anything at all this Thanksgiving weekend, then by all means, put going to see "Deja Vu" on your shopping list. I can promise you that both you and your family/significant others will be blow though the very back wall of the theater.
  • comment
    • Author: RuTGamer
    I was expecting more of this film based on the title and the trailer but ultimately came away feeling a bit taken for a ride. I read Sci Fi, I understand some of the time travel stuff they write so would like to add some thoughts.

    To begin the whole process the ferry must blow up and he must travel back in time at least twice. The script writers get lazy in adding the ambulance and the stuff at the flat in the wrong time loop. They are compressing the two time loops into one time loop and using some of the elements to explain stuff that is logically wrong. Why two time loops and why is the film wrong? because the dead girl and the stuff at the flat and the ambulance all exist in the same time stream in the film. Why is this a problem: she must have been alive to help put it in the flat which he finds before he time travels but her dead body is in the morgue, so where was this other alive version of the girl in his current time stream???? She can't be the same girl in the river with fingers missing as that should already have happened. Now there are two of him at the end, but only because he time travelled, she never did, so there can only ever be one of her in any one time stream or loop at any one time. He saved her with the ambulance therefore its in the wrong time stream loop if she is also dead in the same time loop, so there must be two time loops, one where she is dead and one where she is alive. (now some might try to get round this by saying she was killed after going to the flat with Denzel and then placed in the river, but I don't think the timing and the positioning of the bomber will support that very well, and of course that didn't happen in the film)

    The whole sequence would make more sense if it went like this. start: A note arrives from the future on his desk, his partner gets it. His partner disrupts the bomber, gets shot. Bomber can no longer use the car. This makes the bomber go for the girl and her car. The car is changed the girl dies at the hand of the bomber she ends up in the river and found later but too early for the ferry explosion. There should be no traces at the flat. There should be no ambulance at the bombers place. Science team get him on board, he starts the investigation, he sends the note into the past

    Loop 1 He travels back in time. He gets the ambulance. He saves the girl from the first death. They go back to her flat, he arranges the letters and leaves the blood etc. Bomber still rides across the bridge (very very important for the logic) They try and save the ferry they fail (and die) The ferry blows up (again).

    Logically this should have happened to have all the elements available at the start of the film to travel back a second time, where everything in the past is in place, so he can now see all of those things in the past that he put there and changed. So the time travel trip shown in the film should actually be the start of the movie (as it fits all the requirements for the first time loop) not the one leading to the shown ending which should logically be the end of the second time loop and the continuation of the time stream and exit from the time loop that could potentially go on for ever if the ferry keeps blowing up.

    NB Bomber riding across the bridge: In reality if he had succeeded in stopping the ferry from blowing up as shown in the movie he would not have been able to see the bomber ride across the bridge on the CCTV(future part) as he was changing the past in real time, eg Bomber is now on the ferry. (remember the two are linked in real time, they said so). The ambulance, bandages at the flat, phone call etc must exist in the same loop as the bomber riding across the bridge.
  • comment
    • Author: Ionzar
    I kept my hopes low for this mediocre time machine movie and my expectations were not exceeded! I realize the filmmakers are solely in it for the money. Film is now, for the most part, a commodity like toothpaste and paper towels - and it shows! I wouldn't even be surprised if Hollywood stooped so low as to hired Public Relation firms to write fake positive reviews on internet sites like this one!

    While I have no complaint with the acting, the storyline is just utterly ridiculous, and boring as tears. I don't think it is asking too much for a story to make some sense, instead of treating the movie going public like a bunch of teenagers looking for some cheap thrills!

    Where do I begin? This highly professional terrorist has no motive for his madness. He pops out of the blue, belongs to no organizations or movements, and has no ideology, no allies, and no one helping him. Our meany terrorist quotes Thomas Jefferson, claims he's not killing people because the U.S. military hurt his feelings when they rejected him for being "too much" of a patriot (I kid you not), and all he wants when he's captured is to confess like he's talking to a priest. (Plus a cigarette, of course - don't all bad guys smoke these days?) Oh, please, give me a break! How sanitized a story can you get? The filmmakers and screenwriters of Deja Vu have absolutely no guts, whatsoever, to make any kind of statement other than that terrorists are crazy and get hurt feelings! Wow! What an interesting insight!

    Next, The U.S. Government has a time machine that uses so much energy it caused the last Canada to New York blackout while doing experiments with just small animals, which, in-turn, all end-up going into cardiac arrest, and dying. But when our fearless hero, Denzel Washington, goes back in time the energy problem miraculously disappears. Keep in mind a single piece of paper was sent through time a couple of days earlier, and it knocked out a whole city's power!

    The dying problem is also solved too, with a full recovery taking less than a day. Keep in mind, when most people recover from going into cardiac arrest, they are usually not strong enough to waltz out of the hospital a couple of HOURS later! But Denzel is special, and he doesn't even have super powers!

    When Denzel is shot by a rather large caliber bullet, he begins losing blood fast. So fast in fact, that it's obvious to everyone he needs to make a trip to the emergency room, pronto! Instead he goes over to his women's home because of time constraints. There they wash his wound with water and dry it with paper towels. He miraculously stops bleeding because he washed his wound. No need for stitches or compresses, just soap and water stops bleeding from gunshot wounds. Imagine what other miracles would have occurred if he had the time to wash the rest of his body!

    I think you get the picture. This is such a dopey film because the stupidity is non-stop! It's a shame films are not rated based on cleverness and intelligence. If they were, perhaps filmmakers would start making more interesting movies!
  • comment
    • Author: Togar
    This movie was embarrassing to watch. The thing that annoyed me the most was the fantastic time machine. Right, a video in HD-quality with sound that can be fixed in every possible angle and even zoom in so you can watch the digits on a phone display. Inside a house! And if you put something that stupid in a movie; don't try to explain it using real physics. It just makes matters worse; especially if you know physics. And this video system from the past was something a couple of guys had put together in a couple of days. Not to mention that these guys were the typical ubersmart morons you see in every sci-fi B-movie.

    I tried to look beyond that and enjoy the movie, but it was hard. Denzel and Val Kilmer's performances are OK, but the rest of the actors are somewhere between bad and horrible. The story has so many glitches you lose count. But toward the end the moral seems to be that no matter what you do to change the past, the final outcome is the same; actually a clever idea (although not an original one). But then he sends himself back in time (yeah, likely) and saves the day and the girl (not to mention himself). Seriously; the ending was a complete disaster. In the end nothing makes sense at all.

    Finally; who the heck was the bomber anyway, and what were his motives? I gave this movie 3/10 because it was partially entertaining. But it was mostly annoying. Do not see this movie unless you have a 13 hour flight and nothing else to watch. Or you can have a competition and see who finds most glitches in the story.
  • comment
    • Author: Thomand
    the opening credits. and they try and be clever. it doesn't work.

    our cast: Agent Doug Carlin is played by Denzel Washington who seems to be sleep-walking thru this movie with the occasional sudden inexplicable deviation of character. Val Kilmer has not aged well as Special FBI Agent Pryzwarra, a thickly-jowled pot-bellied cardboard representation of the one-dimensional G-man. Adam Goldberg tries (and really, really fails...i mean...oh boy) to pull off the super-brain heart-of-gold physics professor "Denny". Paula Patton makes great eye-candy damsel-was-in-distress and flashes us a nipple. the rest of the cast? meh...who cares?

    so how is the movie. eh. a 5/10 and that's being generous.

    here were the big problems:

    * the science was...well...utter crap AND inconsistent. why could they only see in the New Orleans radius and how exactly did the portable rig work outside of this area? why could a laser pointer go thru the main "screen but they needed this big-ass nuclear toaster to send that sheet of paper back? and, oh, the paper was the utter maximum we could send back but we've changed out minds and now we can send Denzel back but he has to be in his undies 'cause his shoes would weigh too much. wha? and if you want to emphasize that sending the laser bean, sheet of paper and Denzil use HUGE amounts of energy, don't use the same "aerial view of the city blacking out" all three bloody times.

    * there is NO character development in this film. none. nada. zilch. and Denzil's character has these unprecedented changes of emotion and character "quirks" that makes it nearly impossible to relate to him.

    * Denzil creates mayhem and carnage on the streets of New Orleans with a tricked-out Hummer (with enough product-placement stickers on it to make the movie's endorsement agent shudder uncontrollably with logolistic ecstasy) with impunity. he prolly kills several dozen innocent by-standers and doesn't get as much as a reduction of his expense account. and it's BORING! Tony Scott has sucked every atom of "thrill" from the whole sequence. comes a semi-truck, head-on. will Denzil die? hell no...AND the Hummer will still be drivable afterward!!!

    * in the final climax, where the HECK did the bad guy get the kelvar vest, automatic weapons, and ammo? he didn't have it when he ran back onto the ferry.

    * and while we're talking about magic guns, and why would Navy personnel, on their way to Mardi Gras, just happen to be wearing full combat gear and toting M-15s?
  • comment
    • Author: kewdiepie
    This was a terrific movie, plain and simple. It kept you thinking and guessing at what was really going on, and in the end, all the holes close. That is unusual for any kind of "playing with time" kind of film, and all those involved deserve credit for doing it right. While the whole premise of the science involved has a deep flaw in it, it's not the sort of flaw that precludes the suspension of disbelief. Denzel Washington, Jim Caviziel and Adam Goldberg give memorable performances. Of course, there is no one better than Tony Scott when it comes to telling a story with pictures, and he's as good here, if not better than in Enemy of the State.

    10/10 because I finished my popcorn before I even noticed it was running low.
  • comment
    • Author: Phalaken
    This crime-time travel movie was interesting all the way, but I can't help thinking it could have been much better. There were just too many holes in this story, too many clichés and implausible things that made it less enjoyable than it could have been.

    It wasn't an intelligent time-travel story, not like "Frequency," or "Somewhere In Time" or a bunch of others. For instance, when the killer has his two adversaries right in front of him and walks away without checking to see if they are dead, it isn't smartly written. When everything important happens at the last possible second, literally, then it's too contrived. The movie is filled with contrivances, and it's too bad because it good have been an excellent film.

    Hey, I like happy endings, too, but this is too much and an insult to any viewer's intelligence.

    For pure amusement, I recommend this. You'll be entertained. But don't be surprised if your intelligence is insulted a number of times.
  • comment
    • Author: Coiwield
    I consider time-travelling movies particularly interesting most of the time. I like the idea of a bridge between past and present, that turns communication possible, as well as timeline branching. I can remember "Frequency", that i found an amazing movie and recommend to those enjoying this subject. About this movie, there are a few things i particularly dislike. It's particularly annoying when characters are made stupid so that screenwriter get the story the way he wanted. Why was that paper sent to a place where Denzel would be just in that instant? After that "forced failure", why didn't they try to send the paper once again to a place he could certainly see it... his home for example... didn't he ever go to sleep? Then to solve all the problems... it was made possible sending him to the past... well i can't comment on that, i'll just assume it as a possibility in movie's reality, though it would be kind of impossible to imagine it after so much trouble sending the mass of little sheet of paper. But even when he was sent to the past, after the girl's rescue, the screenwriter created suspense by making characters once again stupid and complicating everything. Why didn't Denzel try to contact ATF and just warn to abort that ferry travel so that they could safely dismantle the bomb, without risking all that people's life... Well i'll answer that, because screenwriter wanted to break people's heart after his death, just when love between he and "Claire" (Paula Patton) had been set. And of course even more important was to make him appear once again, so that all people get happy again... I can't like movies that get their suspense or any other type of emotions, by turning characters dumb, this is usually done in bad horror movies. These and many other reasons don't make this movie a good reason to go to cinema. This is a Sunday's afternoon movie to watch with the family while pictionary is played, so that we don't take the movie too seriously.
  • comment
    • Author: Vizuru
    ..and I say that after much thought - it's not just a knee-jerk reaction.

    I'm a sci-fi and action movie fan OK? And I have no problem suspending my disbelief if the story is good. But this was utter rubbish. The storyline is so weak and huge gaping plot-holes abound in this turkey. Once the "technology" was explained (not very well I might add, by Adam Goldberg's supposedly comic-relief techy) I thought, "Why not just send a message back to the cops warning them of the explosion? Or the ferry captain?" And whatever happened to acting? Denzel is sleep-walking, Val Kilmer has so few lines but he manages to invest them with all the emotion of a cabbage. And who were the others again...? Sorry, they seem to have slipped my mind.

    Oh, and it didn't look THAT good.

    All in all, a waste of £10.
  • comment
    • Author: Jox
    Though moderately entertaining, there are too many things you have to overlook to make it one cohesive movie. So let's begin.

    Let's first overlook the fact that the movie butchers physics- you would think they'd at least bring someone on staff that knows SOMETHING about wormholes etc. to at least attempt to ground this movie in science. They didn't. Since it's a fictional movie- this is forgivable - we'll overlook that it (producing wormholes) can't possibly happen and the science behind it is laughable. Secondly, they never really explain why there are two of him - is this some sort "The Prestige" rip-off? My thought is if you send someone into the past - that's changing the past and there is only one of the person- you're not cloning someone - they use all this fake science mumbo-jumbo to make you try to answer your own question or just ignore the fact there's two of him. Give me a concrete answer on why there's two of him (and how he makes it back to the future when it hasn't worked before--why this time? because it's Denzel?) It also seems they kind of just ignore the fact he most probably killed his partner, probably 40-50 people on the highway by driving recklessly(if not killed, paralyzed) to save the girl that he had a crush on (real romantic). Let's also overlook all the scenes where they spied on the girl in the shower and changing - because they should be arrested for that considering that's pretty illegal and inappropriate. I'm going to start rambling so bear with me- she pulls a gun on him- and he makes a joke that he didn't know that was going to happen - but he really should have, they pass it off as a joke because they can't explain that scene. The ending where they drive the truck off of the boat - in a stroke of divine intervention- they crash through all the immobile cars -with the distance they had - maximum they could be going 15 MPH - yet they plow through and manage to not only drive the truck OFF the ship, but get it way up in the air to flip around. That's impressive! My last huge qualm about the movie is- when he heads towards the bayou at the end, he's in SUCH a hurry - yet - at the girl's house they spend so much time bandaging him and are in no hurry. That scene would lack ANY suspense if they hurried up at her house and didn't park right out front of the Bayou.

    In my opinion, this movie would have been better served having Denzel die - the girl get sucked into the ships propeller (to have her fingers cut off) and wash up on the ocean shore to show that you can't mess around with the past or to elaborate more on the 'human sacrifice' line of the movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Dikus
    After seeing "Man on Fire" I was looking forward to a movie from Tony Scott and Denzel. The movie was worth waiting for. I have seen this movie at a theater with no empty seats. The story is great, the acting is pretty good. There were a few moments where the story was broken but was not a big issue within the whole story. The story is about a terrorist blowing a ship where there was a celebration of the Navy. Denzel investigates the crime and finds some clues that don't make sense. He is invited to work with a special investigation unit because he is a local (and a smart detective). There are pretty original action scenes that were shot clearly (unlike "Domino" where the camera was shaky and fuzzy all the time). If you like an action movie with some good story, this is the movie for you. TRIVIA: The word "Dejavu" is not mentioned even once, in the movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Glei
    This movie was pretty much what I expected. Nothing too serious, just a fun ride from the beginning till the end. The plot has this good twist in it, which makes the movie interesting and there is overall pretty much the right amount of sci-fi and thriller blended together.

    What to expect from a movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer? Explosions, gun fights, car chases and over the top dramatized scenes. Well, that's pretty much what you get from Déjà Vu. The movie's enjoyable, but like said before, it's nothing too serious. Denzel Washington is entertaining as usual, a right man for the role indeed. Don't expect this movie to contain any phenomenal role performances, as that is really not the case when it comes to movies like this one. This is just another perfect example of a movie which is only made for entertaining purposes. If you want to see this and you see this, it's what you expect it to be, nothing more or nothing less, you finish the movie with that usual smile on your face. Your entertain level is satisfied.

    The movie's a big cliché overall, quoting myself on what said before; Over the top dramatized scenes. I mean, it's so predictable. The cinematography almost does that all for you; Fast forwarding, slow motions, shaking the camera, the screen flashing white every now and then.. I could go on and on, but oh well, you get the point. That is sadly pretty much what the cinematography always does in these kind of movie nowadays. It's like every possible way of cinematography is already used before and no-one tries to make anything unique anymore. You could always just cut down the cliché(ish) ways and keep it simple and normal. Well, then the movies like these wouldn't actually be movies like these, so the cinematography does what it's supposed to do after all. You can't complain about that, now can you? The music is also used to make it more over the top and it's just a bunch of corny compositions put together to make the movie more emotional, but for me it's more like a bad joke. Overall the music is also so predictable, giving a random example of that; "Now he sees a dead man, now his eyes freeze, now he walks next to the body, close-up shot of the body, corny piano music starts playing, close-up to the main character's eyes, now a tear drop, oh how sad" Yup, got it right again. So predictable. Well, you can't complain as then again, you get what you order.

    Like I mentioned before, the plot has this good twist in it and it does make the movie interesting. It's also a bit unique in its own way. Though it is surprising at first, it's all downhill after that, as then it catches that famous predictability. Well it's not as bad as you may think from that last sentence, it's just is what it is. Despite from all of this negative feedback I'd still recommend the movie if you're looking for an action packed ride with a bad ass lead actor in it.
  • comment
    • Author: Wat!?
    I am really sorry if I offend some of the commentators' tastes, but for me this movie was a complete disaster.

    Tony Scott, Denzel Washington, these names to me mean reputation and a guarantee of a decent, solid entertainment. I wasn't expecting anything deep or any food for thought, but pure, perfect entertainment. How disappointing! A time machine?! Ability to watch the past?! Through the walls?! Plus audio?! The scene where Denzel uses his laser pointer to unveil the truth about the real function of the machine and then exclaims in such a dramatic tonality "Can anyone tell me WHAT-IS-GOING-ON-HERE" was just...funny and made me literally fall of my chair... Please don't see this movie, for sake of your well-being. Remember "The Village" from 2004 and the disappointment of it not being an intriguing horror movie, but a piece about some isolated place in the national park...? After seeing "Deja vu", you'll enjoy a similar aftertaste of disappointment, ridiculousness of the content and waste of your money as well as time.
  • comment
    • Author: Abuseyourdna
    OK, am i wrong, or is the comments area in IMDb there for commenting a movie? What can i say? Some of the people in here are not commenting the movie, they adapt it to our own reality and try to make sense out of it. I will not make the same mistake....

    The movie itself is a complex of thriller-drama-action-SciFi and i have to say that Tony Scott did a very good job (especially for his action scenes). Denzel and Val are very good but the applause goes for Jim and the new girl Paula Patton. She actually steals the first role from Denzel. And Jim who plays for about half-or-less an hour makes you think immediately that he is the bad guy. What more can you expect from an actor?

    The film has a fast pace that doesn't let you get bored and although it lasts about 2 hours, it's coming to the end quite quick. I have to admit that there are some errors (the-country-hurt-my-feelings explanation for the bad guy turned to a terrorist is at the least laughable, the time-travel theories cannot be minimized into a 2 minutes analysis such as portrayed here), but after all, when you see a film of this kind you do not expect everything to be clear as the stars in the night sky (without clouds of course).

    And that's the BIG question. Do you watch this kind of movies for entertaining reasons, just simply to pass your time relaxed, make your mind forget the things you worry about the rest of the day etc, OR you want every single movie you watch - even a SciFi-action-thriller like this one - to make you think about our cosmos and the universe and the societies and the world and whatever?

    Answer the question, what you REALLY want and expect for any given kind of movie and i promise that you will find yourself to be more amused after you watch any film from there on.....

    For myself speaking, this film deserves a brave 8. It was pretty amusing - and that's really the whole point, isn't it?
  • comment
    • Author: virus
    Lets get to it.

    What initially intrigued me about the movie was the time-machine gizmo could only be used to view the past. This is new as most time-machine movies involve going back to the past to change things, which I find to be very annoying.

    The movie would've been much better if thats all the time-machine could do. And even when it was established that you could interfere with the past, the movie explored the theme that you cannot change the past, which would've also been adequate, but we all know this is Hollywood. You must save the world, so they basically messed up what could've been a great movie.

    And the terrorist guy seemed to also hint at the theme of not being able to change the past, but for some reason the story took the mediocre, uncreative, dull approach.

    Very disappointing movie, its watchable, but I'm giving it a 1 because in the beginning it looked like it could be a classic, but degenerated into mediocrity, so I think thats a tragedy.

    Don't watch this movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Xurad
    Deja Vu is a high-action, crime-drama, sci-fi, thriller which is exactly what you would expect from Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of such action-adventures as "Con Air," "Enemy of the State," "National Treasure," "Pirates of the Caribbean," and another Denzel Washington favorite, "Remember the Titans."

    The story opens with an explosion on board a New Orleans Ferry, and takes the audience back through an unfolding of events that leads up to the tragic scene. Even the most modern technology hasn't gone as far as the storyline takes us. The premise is thrilling and the implications stimulate the imagination. For example; "how would altering the past impact people and events of the present?"

    The acting is superb, with Denzel Washington and Paula Patton as romantic leads. James Caviezel does an extraordinary job as the villain, which is a departure from his role as Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ."

    There is plenty of action and some of it violent. Be prepared to see a few corpses like those on television's "CSI" or "Crossing Jordon." There are gun fights, but with a minimum of blood. While the movie is certainly intense, much of the severe action is implicit and takes place off camera.

    For an action packed, PG-13 movie, I was particularly impressed with the limited amount of rough language. I imagine with Denzel and James in the cast, there was an effort to keep it "clean." This is one of the few remaining Touchstone Pictures releases. Parent company, Walt Disney Studios is committed to producing action movies that appeal to a wider family audience.

    We're awarding "Deja Vu" the Dove Family-Approved Seal at for audience members over age 12.( Parents should look over the violent content issues before deciding whether to bring tweens along.
  • comment
    • Author: Arador
    I have recently been watching a string of movies dealing with time travel/parallel universes, such as Primer, La Moustache, The Machinist. Deja Vu seemed to fit the category, so I decided to give it a try. While most of the other movies were a bit obscure, this one had a sizable budget and did well in the box office. A 7.1 looks good, so I was expecting something meaningful. Boy did I get burned. This movie is atrocious.

    The protagonist is Doug Carlin, also known as DIAPR, Denzel In Another Police Role. In the beginning it didn't seem too bad. A terrible 9/11 like terrorist attack kills 543 men, women and children in New Orleans. A team of specialists are assigned to tackle the investigation.

    Enter Doug. A loudmouth, annoying, overpaid ATF agent. He drops in shouting ''who's in charge'' like some sort of action hero, then laughs when it turns out to be some fat dude, which is always cause for hilarity, and goes for coffee. (let's get our priorities straight, eh?) He proceeds to watch footage of what appears to be a suspect for the terrorist attack, at which point some other dimwit cop makes a joke about how he's taking a leak on the highway, and Doug bursts out in uncontrollable laughter.

    Can it get any more unprofessional? Over 500 people just died in the greatest attack on the USA since the Twin Towers, and nobody seems the least bit shaken.

    But it gets worse. We finally get to the time machine bit. Of course the scientists don't bother explaining how it all works to Doug, because they quite rightly figure out he's not the brightest bulb.

    Then the really good part. Doug decides to point a laser pen at the screen, which of course CAUSES THE SYSTEM TO CRASH. Hunh?! So is this screen a direct portal to the past, or something? I'd say NOT, seeing as how they have a special chamber to teleport small animals and pieces of paper to the past. So what exactly is the logic behind this? There is none.

    Then Doug gets enraged, and demands to know how this machine really works. They try to tell him. But no, even the dumbed down, layman's terms explanation are too much for Doug to handle, and he demands an even simpler explanation? What? Was this movie targeted at preschoolers? Which part of ''space time continuum'' is so hard to understand? Is the folding paper example really necessary? It's obvious the writers didn't have a clue what Quantum Mechanics are, nor did they hire a consultant to help them with it. They oversimplified and altered the entire theory so that any Joe Average can understand it. What's the point of technobabble if it's crystal clear to everybody what they are saying anyway? Anyway, Doug continues to be out-of-control angry, and even smashes up an expensive monitor to have an example of what ''death'' means. Broken monitor means dead. Brilliant. I guess the taxpayers won't mind if you randomly destroy government property for no real reason, with no repercussions. It was at this point that I switched off the movie.

    This garbage is an insult to anybody with half a brain. I realize this is an action movie, but when the protagonist is such an unlikeable bastard who I wish got a bullet to the brain, it's obvious I'm not gonna enjoy the rest.

    1 out of 10 stars. Don't waste your time on this, not even as a joke
  • comment
    • Author: Perilanim
    This movie is not even a science fiction movie. Its ridiculous. Excuse me Denzel, but how could you join this plot? Nothing is explained NOTHING we had so many people in the Theater who had to laugh although this movie wasn't supposed to be a COMEDY. But as soon they started to "talk" about wormholes etc this movie was over. I watched this movie because i thought that it is a good denzel washington movie.

    How much money did he get for that? Even weird Movies like Donnie Darko have not been as strange as this one.

    Im really sorry for everyone but everybody of sound mind and just a little bit of Knowledge (Wormholes, TimeTravel) Will Agree that this movie is like swearing on Einstein

  • comment
    • Author: Samowar
    This movie was a piece of work. Up from the very beginning we get a surreal image of New Orleans' people being "grateful" about Katrina. That is pictured by a slogan saying "Katrina only made us stronger". Then, there's the Fox News helicopter being the only one covering the ferry. Of course, the whole movie seems part of the relentless post 9/11 scare mongering tactics. Too many direct and indirect allusions to "support the troops" and "mission accomplished" makes it a blatant propaganda piece. The little sci-fi part was absolutely pathetic. Don't get me wrong, I like being lied to for entertainment's sake, but way too many trivial things didn't add up.

    The acting, while backed by names like Denzel and Val, was not anywhere near what the standard of a "good movie". The only thing the movie had going for it, was the very good job Tony Scott did with the action scenes. All in all, go see this one if you're a lobotomized action fan. Otherwise, better skip it.
  • comment
    • Author: Sermak Light
    Have you ever had the feeling that you've seen something before? Like when you're in a cinema and it all starts looking sickeningly familiar. Tony Scott's new movie starts with a hectic mix of shots of people having a good time but the discordant editing or whatever made me say to myself, "Any minute now, there will be an explosion or a similar disaster." I waited another full minute of meaningless collage. If this was TV I need that explosion about now to stop me changing channels. And then, sure enough, Whooooomph! Big explosion. Déjà vu!

    Denzil Washington is a law enforcement officer (Doug) who cannily discovers, after the explosion, a woman burned to death. Except that closer examination reveals to him that she died beforehand, so her death is probably a clue to the terrorist. He joins an elite force with the technology to see four days into the past. They give him an unbelievable explanation as to how this is done, and eventually a 'real' explanation (which is not done very convincingly either). Doug, being the sad, sensitive type, has fallen in love with the dead woman and offers to be flung back in time to save her – just so he can prevent the devastation of course.

    About this time you will be getting Déjà yoohoos along the lines of, "I think I've seen this before – was it in Terminator II or The Prestige?" At least by this point the explosions-per-minute ratio has ratcheted up a bit, so you may grudgingly feel you're getting your money's worth. But when you realise the two best scenes were in the trailer, it's easier to accept you've been had and just spend the rest of the movie waiting for them to appear.

    On the plus side, the action does eventually kick in, making it at least better than a bad episode of CSI, and a car chase conducted simultaneously in two time frames stretches the brain momentarily. Against this is a sci-fi element that will be clumsy and unconvincing to the most credulous of sci-fi fans and it bit too daft for those who hate such things. I was touched by the fact that it was made in post-Katrina New Orleans, although they probably needed the tax breaks just to break even.

    Déjà vu is neither pleasantly mind-numbing entertainment nor intellectually stimulating sci-fi, but is a tolerable action movie with a sweet enough twist. Some of the sets are cleverly constructed and the plot is a bit different to the average cops and robbers movie. Ironically, it is not likely to be a film you will remember.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Denzel Washington Denzel Washington - Doug Carlin
    Paula Patton Paula Patton - Claire Kuchever
    Val Kilmer Val Kilmer - Agent Pryzwarra
    Jim Caviezel Jim Caviezel - Carroll Oerstadt
    Adam Goldberg Adam Goldberg - Denny
    Elden Henson Elden Henson - Gunnars
    Erika Alexander Erika Alexander - Shanti
    Bruce Greenwood Bruce Greenwood - Jack McCready
    Rich Hutchman Rich Hutchman - Agent Stalhuth
    Matt Craven Matt Craven - Minuti
    Donna W. Scott Donna W. Scott - Beth (as Donna Scott)
    Elle Fanning Elle Fanning - Abbey
    Brian Howe Brian Howe - Medical Examiner
    Enrique Castillo Enrique Castillo - Claire's Father
    Mark Phinney Mark Phinney - Agent Donnelly
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