Denzel Vu July 9, 2007Posted by fitsnews in Pop Culture.
DENZEL WASHINGTON’S NEWEST CRIME THRILLER SUBJECT OF OUR FIRST FITS’ FLIC RATING
FITSNews – July 9, 2007 – Sure, the concept of Denzel Washington playing an emotionally-conflicted investigator attempting to exorcize his demons by solving an inexplicably confounding mystery isn’t exactly an original Hollywood premise. After all, we’ve already seen The Bone Collector, Courage Under Fire, Fallen, Inside Man, Man On Fire, Out Of Time and The Siege, just to name a few.
So what makes Déjà Vu – Washington’s latest “hero with a purpose” epic thriller – so special?
First of all, we don’t operate under the assumption that a traditionally typecast Denzel is necessarily a bad thing. Especially when his prototype protagonist is teamed up with the Hollywood A-Team of director Tony Scott (Top Gun, Spy Game) and mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Throw in a unique and semi-plausible plot, solid screenplay and supporting cast, some nifty special effects and a unique twist on the obligatory “chase” scene, and we found plenty to like about this film.
Déjà Vu tells the story of a massive terrorist bombing on a Lousiana ferry boat that leaves over 500 American sailors and their families dead. Washington’s character (Doug Carlin) plays an ATF agent assigned to investigate the explosion, and as the evidence points to the central role of a supposed victim of the blast (played by Paula Patton), he joins forces with a sophisticated government crime detection unit using satellite technology and experimental morphings of the space-time continuum to view the days leading up to the tragedy.
Playing off many of the same underlying themes as The Matrix or Minority Report, the movie has a much grittier, more authentic texture and feel to it, not to mention the fact that it generally avoids the excessive sermonizing and techno-babble such films are usually steeped in so that it can focus more on the development of the characters and the plot.
For example, we never get dragged into a protracted philosophical discussion of the morality of the new technology Déjà Vu seeks to impart to our present-day world, nor are we subjected to too much of the syrupy sanctimoniousness such discussions inevitably devolve into.
Instead, the film keeps its audience moving at a blisteringly frenetic pace – tracking its hero’s journey from the present into the past and back to the present again with a crisp, unrelenting sense of urgency.
The upside to this approach is that we get to see one of Denzel’s command performances. The one notable downside, however, is that the evolution of terrorist villain Carroll Oerstadt (played by James Caviezel) isn’t as thoroughly explored as it perhaps should have been.
FITS’ FLIC RATING: 7.4/ 10