Of course, Doug’s job isn’t to sniff out the last time someone sharted a big one; he’s more concerned about finding the terrorist behind a massive New Orleans bombing that’s killed hundreds of people.
With his eye for details, Doug Carlin quickly determines that not all is what it seems. There are too many inconsistencies in the crime scene; a misplaced body, a missing partner, and strange notes all point to a greater conspiracy.
This build up of tension and unease is one of Déjà vu’s greatest strengths. For the first forty minutes, the sense that something isn’t quite right is strong and constant. The film’s focus is squarely on the growing body of suspicious evidence and the sparse dialogue is smart and to the point, like the rest of the film’s setup.
That is one good-looking civil war veteran.
Déjà vu’s gripping tension is highlighted with some very well orchestrated action sequences. This film also features one of the more creative car chases I’ve seen in quite a while. It gets the heart pounding and keeps the audience guessing what will happen next. Unfortunately Déjà vu does suffer an occasional let down.
Without spoiling any plot twists, I will say that some complicated science is involved. And the requisite explanations drag the film’s pacing down to that of a two-legged dog’s. Adam Goldberg is often hilarious during these explanations but the scientific babble probably could have been toned down a notch or two.
More disappointing than the occasional plot slow down is the disjointed final thirty minutes. Early on, Déjà vu used the presence of significant details to hint at a greater conspiracy, so it’s frustrating when those details aren’t completely resolved and explained by the film’s conclusion. There is excitement and drama, but the satisfaction is tempered by the feeling that director Tony Scott cheated to get the ending he wanted.
Déjà vu offers great atmosphere and excitement and clings to both for as long as it can. Although there is a bit of a let down in the film’s second half, this is still a quality action flick with plenty to think about. I smell a decent one here and I think you’ll agree.
(That’s the equivalent of 3 out of 4 stars for the unitiated)