Denzel Washington is one of my favorite actors. I don’t think I’ve missed any of his films starring him in the lead role. And he can always be counted upon to deliver a solid performance, be it as a young first officer in a US Navy missile sub standing up to his captain in Crimson Tide (1995), or as a quadriplegic homicide detective tracking down a serial killer in the Bone Collector (1999), or as a Sergeant/major investigating the truth of a bravery act that he was involved but has been leveraged for political mileage in The Manchurian Candidate (2004), just to name a few. All are stellar performances.
So it was with unabated breadth that we watched Déjà vu, with him again in the lead role as an ATF agent investigating a bombing incident that occurred on a ferry in New Orleans. Those who love to see the application of advanced technology before it enters the real world will have plenty to root for, not least of which is the ability to go back in time, sort of.
The movie did make an attempt to undergird the new-fangled scientific breakthrough by having the characters muttering something to the effects of “Einstein-Rosen bridge”, “Wheeler boundary” and “wormholes”. Of course in our case, they fell on deaf ears. With dead-pan expressions to boot. I thought of googling the terms after the movie but thought otherwise. Surely my time could be more gainfully employed, such as reading.
Various imageries are merged to yield life’s proceeding in real time, except that it’s four days late. The good thing is, depending on your perspective, there is no playback, but one could record. Go figure. And using a combination of infrared and thermal tomography plus some algorithms, it can even see through walls and concoct life-sized human anatomies engaging in day-to-day activities. Take my word: privacy as it exists now is goner.
Outside, our hero wears a goggle-like contraption and is able to literally chase after a shadow, like some kind of virtual reality flick. And he has no qualms in causing all those pile-up, leaving mayhem at his wake.
Just like other time travel genre such as Back to Future, our hero is able to change an outcome that he doesn’t like, interfering with fate if you will. And he lives to tell about it, the happy ending that is, with the supposedly happened human carnage having been averted thrown in.
For sheer entertainment value and ignoring the numerous continuity violations (not that I noticed them but there is a huge list somewhere in the Net), this is vintage Denzel Washington.