Year 2, Day 62 - 3/3/10 - Movie #427
BEFORE: Another movie with a time-travel theme (sort of...) though I can't help but feel like I might have seen this one before... (joking!)
THE PLOT: An ATF agent travels back in time to save a woman from being murdered, falling in love with her during the process.
AFTER: Damn, this movie's set in New Orleans - if I had known that, I would have watched it right after "Benjamin Button"...
Last night's movie required me to believe that a man can see two minutes into the future, and tonight's movie requires me to believe that a man (with a team of techies) can see four 1/2 days into the past. The gimmick is that with an array of satellites constantly processing data, computers can analyze the data (with a 4 1/2 day delay) so that the FBI tech team can look virtually anywhere (or is that "virtually look anywhere"?) to get the data to solve a crime.
Agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) is an ATF agent called in by the FBI to look at the crime scenes from the past, since he has an ability to look at the satellite images, analyze them, and direct the team where to "look" next. The crime is the bombing of a ferry carrying U.S. soldiers and their families, and Carlin suspects that the murder of a young woman is connected, and the key to solving the crime.
When it's revealed that the FBI technology is actually using a wormhole to the past to gather their images, Carlin believes that since light can travel forward across the wormhole, then light (and matter) can be sent back. The tech team seems divided about the nature of quantum mechanics - one school of thought says that everything in the past is unchangeable, since it already happened - and when the teams send a message into the past and seemingly cause past events instead of changing them, that theory seems to be supported. But the other school of thought says that viewing the past (on a quantum level, natch...) also changes the past, in the same way that knowing your future could cause you to avoid it, rather than cause it to happen.
Carlin decides to play dice with the universe by sending himself back 4 days, with knowledge of what will happen - to save the girl and prevent the bombing. Time paradoxes are neatly avoided (since Carlin manages to avoid running into himself) and all the little confusing details are neatly explained....so kudos for that. ("Don't forget to leave the keys, Bill and Ted!")
Welllll....except for one rather glaring time-travel created paradox at the end - but if you believe that changing the past causes reality to branch off in a different future direction, then I guess we can let this one slide.
And damn, the movie takes place on "Fat Tuesday", which was last week. If I hadn't added so many movies to my "Fame" chain, or if Easter weren't so early this year, I would have hit it right on the nose.
Also starring Val Kilmer, Jim Caviezel, Bruce Greenwood, Adam Goldberg.
RATING: 7 out of 10 Mardi Gras necklaces