Denzel Washington as Doug Carlin
Paula Patton as Claire Kuchever
Val Kilmer as Agent Andrew Pryzwarra
James Caviezel as Carroll Oerstadt
Adam Goldberg as Denny
Elden Henson as Gunnars
Erika Alexander as Shanti
Bruce Greenwood as Jack McCready
Rich Hutchman as Agent Stalhuth
Matt Craven as Larry Minuti
Donna W. Scott as Beth
Elle Fanning as Abbey
Brian Howe as Medical Examiner
Enrique Castillo as Claire’s Father
Mark Phinney as Agent Donnelly
The Surveillance Window — Go Back In Time With The Filmmakers And Experience Behind-The-Scenes Moments With The Filmmakers
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 112 Minutes
The following is from the DVD cover:
“Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington (Best Actor, ‘Training Day,’ 2001) joins forces with blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer and mega-hit director Tony Scott for ‘Déjà Vu’ the powerful, fast-paced action-thriller with a spectacular mind-bending twist. Called in to recover evidence in the aftermath of a horrific explosion on a New Orleans ferry, Federal agent Doug Carlin (Washington) gets pulled away from the scene and taken to a top-secret government lab that uses a time-shifting surveillance device to help prevent crime. But can it help Carlin change the past? Hold on to your seat for an explosive and intriguing thrill ride you’ll want to experience again and again.”
“Déjà Vu” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images and some sensuality.
“Déjà Vu” is kind of an episode of “CSI” with a sci-fi twist. It starts out as your typical crime drama where a team of federal agents and crime scene investigators look into a terrorist bombing. It then dramatically shifts gears and turns into a time travel film. The government has a window that allows them to look four and a half days into the past within a certain area. It’s a very unique twist on the whole time travel genre which, it seems, had been done to death. This time window allows the character to look at locations before crimes take place, follow suspects in the past, and other cool stuff. While the premise does require quite a bit of suspension of disbelief, it is definitely unique. But as the film progresses, it eventually deviates from its unique “time window” premise and falls into your standard action film and time travel film premise. It provides a satisfying ending, but it loses the unique feeling of the middle part of the story.
The cast is all very good, but as you might expect, Denzel Washington steals the show as Doug Carlin. He gets the best lines and he gets to be the hero. Paula Patton is good as his love interest Claire Kuchever, but she’s not really a factor in the story till the end. It’s fun to see Val Kilmer again as Agent Andrew Pryzwarra, but he’s also relegated to an almost cameo role. The same goes for James Caviezel, Adam Goldberg, and Bruce Greenwood.
This was one of the first films to shoot in New Orleans after Katrina and Tony Scott certainly takes advantage of the scenic locations. From the destroyed neighborhoods to the French Quarter, Scott makes it all look fantastic. It’s a great backdrop for “Déjà Vu.”
There are quite a few bonus features included on the DVD. First up, there’s The Surveillance Window. This allows you to watch 37 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage and ‘making of’ documentaries either within the film or separate. They cover the ferry explosion, the character of Doug Carlin, filming in New Orleans, special effects, and more. There are 10 videos total.
Next up are the Deleted Scenes. There are 5 of them. Some are relatively minor like a scene with a church choir or one where Carlin talks about a turtle that survived the Oklahoma City bombing. Others are a little more substantial. In one we realize Claire knows Dakota Fanning’s character in the film, thus making her survival a little more significant.
Wrapping things up are 3 extended Scenes. They include an extended ferry aftermath, more of Claire being held captive, and a scene where Carlin shares with Claire how he’s been watching her across time.
The Bottom Line:
I would recommend “Déjà Vu” to fans of Denzel Washington, fans of time travel movies, and anyone that likes “CSI.” This movie has elements that will appeal to all of you.