The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009)
By: James Gillett on October 13, 2009  | 
DVD
Icon (Australia) Region A, B, & C. 1080P, 24p. 1:85:1 (16:9 Enhanced). English DD 5.1, HDMA 5.1. 90 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Seth Grossman
Starring: Chris Carmack, Rachel Miner, Melissa Jones, Kevin Yon
Screenplay: Holly Brix
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
Sam Reide (Chris Carmack) is blessed/cursed with the handy gift of Time Travel. The twist here is that while the 'heroes' from the previous two films could only travel back in time to a few important moments in their life, Sam can seemingly jump back to any point in his life. It's a neat trick, and one he learns to exploit in the interests of making a living. No, not sports betting, our hero is much too honourable a fellow for that. Instead he simply goes back to observe past crimes, allowing him to sell valuable clues to the police under the guise of a psychic.

Only, wouldn't you know it, Sam has a tragedy in his past, and it's one he just can't help try to 'fix'. Didn't anyone tell him meddling with time will only play havoc down the line? (Actually they did, but it's a movie, so he's gona do what he's gona do...)

I was a little cynical about this entry. Nothing spells cash-in like a direct to video sequel. Thankfully, this third go-round actually takes a new approach and plays out like a detective story, pitting our hero against a mystery surrounding the death of his girlfriend years before. It's not a bad twist on the formula on paper and I appreciate the attempt to take the series in a slightly new direction. Unfortunately, after reasonably strong start, well...

The main issue here is really the script. Time travel movies live or die on their internal logic and The Butterfly Effect 3's logic seems sketchy. It's clever, but maybe a little too clever, arguably in turn presenting a few plot holes. Also worth noting is some of the rules established in the previous entries are basically shat on, which actually bothered me more. The moral is... if you see this movie; thought is your enemy, and so are comparisons. Just sit back, relax and just go for the ride.

At least this film has a darker edge than the previous DTV effort. It also sports the most graphic violence of the series. Yep, we get everything from finger severings to head bashings, all in their graphic glory. Now that's a plus nearly every day of the week, only in this film I found it a little tacked on and out of place. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for gore in my genre flicks, but here it felt like an attempt to appeal to another crowd, namely horror fans, when essentially what we have here is a thriller.

On a positive, this flick's shot with some style. Director Seth Grossman managed to make his film pretty visually engaging on what must have been a tight shooting schedule. It certainly makes the ride a little sweeter, and is much appreciated.

Performances are reasonable. The lead - who looks something like a beefier jock version of Sean William Scott - does what he can with the material, though I doubt casting agents will be knocking down his door. More interesting is Rachel Miner (of Californication fame) as his sister, who's usually good and here stands out from the pack, which goes to show she perhaps deserves a little better than this DTV fodder.
Video
The Butterfly Effect 3 is presented in its aspect ratio of 1:85:1. For a DTV movie, the transfer is fairly strong. The image is sharp and grain free and presented at 24p. A few establishing shots, like a cityscape looked particularly impressive, and made me happy.
Audio
The disc presents options for either 5.1 DD Surround Sound or DTS HD Master Audio. Sound was balanced, clear and all round up to the task.
Extra Features
No Extra's present, though I could always mention the menu's background... It consists of a butterfly fluttering its wings with some images from the film flashing up within. After the movie I sat back and watched it for a while, listening to the little indie song it had going on, which was all surprisingly enjoyable.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
The good news is The Butterfly Effect 3 features a couple of elements lacking from part 2 (darker tone, stronger visual style) making this a reasonably entertaining, if fairly forgettable time waster. Best enjoyed with low expectations I'd say, as viewers craving something approaching the original's quality will no doubt find disappointment in the near future.

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