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March 5, 2010
The Butterfly Effect 2 Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
29/10/20091/3/2010Icon FilmsJohn R. Leonetti
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Eric Lively

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Eric Lively as Nick Larson in The Butterfly Effect 2.

As a franchise The Butterfly Effect isn't one of the largest, but it does contain an interesting premise, and the superb first movie starring Ashton Kutcher has stood the test of time quite well. Since that first movie two direct-to-DVD sequels have followed and they are now available on Blu-Ray. This is the second movie of the three, but with each having a different cast and storyline it is very much a stand alone movie.

Nick (Eric Lively) and Julie (Erica Durance) were deeply in love, but when death robs the young couple of their lifetime of happiness, Nick isn't willing to say goodbye to his soul mate without a fight. Soon discovering that he has the ability to travel into the past to a point before the moment of Julie's untimely death, Nick struggles to find a means of saving his one true love because of the increasingly troubling results that his well-intended heroics seem to have on the future.

After the brilliant first movie, I had high hopes for this sequel, but it seems that director John R. Leonetti (whose only previous directorial work was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation) struggled to build any tension while the storyline is, to be honest pretty dull. It's clear that the direct-to-DVD sequel has a smaller budget, only $US6 million compared to $US13 million for the original, and the movie seems a lot smaller in scale as well.

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Going back in time, or having a fit?
About half way through watching this movie I was pretty much totally disinterested in the characters. Whereas Ashton Kutcher’s character of Evan was motivated to go back in the past to save family and friends, in this movie the main character Nick is motivated by, well, his career more then anything else and also saving his relationship. It makes him seem greedy. As for the ending, well, I won't spoil it but it felt cheap, nasty and like you'd just wasted 90 minutes of your life.

One really has to ask though, with the original movie grossing just under $US100 million on a $13 million budget, why wasn't this sequel given another moderate budget, and theatrical release? Perhaps that was the plan, or perhaps the studio knew the script wasn't up to scratch and dumped it to DVD instead.

Vastly inferior to the original, and with a superior sequel there is little reason to visit this movie before the other two movies. The Butterfly Effect 2 is only worth looking at to complete the set.

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The Butterfly Effect 2 is now on Blu-Ray.
The Butterfly Effect 2 isn't a visually stimulating movie and it isn't reference quality, but it certainly looks much improved over the DVD release with a much greater level of sharpness and colour reproduction across the board. Again Icon Films have presented the film at 1.78:1 using the AVC MPEG-4 codec which often sits well above 20Mbps.

There are two audio tracks on this disc, but they aren't quite as listed in the menus. Indeed the primary audio track on this disc is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) and it's a pretty solid effort with clear dialogue and some good effects but some pretty sparse use of surround sound channels. This isn't a disc you'd use for reference material, but it's not something that will make you shake your fists at the filmmakers either.

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No, it's not Angelina Jolie, but looks like her a bit!
The second track is listed as a Dolby TrueHD track but for the life of me I could not get it to play anything other then a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps. I'm not sure what the retail packaging states as I only have the review disc here - and it may be fixed, but you may want to keep that in mind. There is no subtitle track on this disc, not even English, which is disappointing.

The Butterfly Effect 2 Blu-Ray is totally devoid of extras.

Inferior to both the previous and next movie in the franchise The Butterfly Effect 2 is barely a passable movie. Still the franchise has its fans and while not mind blowing there are certainly audio visual improvements over the DVD release. One for the fans...

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Icon Films. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.