A young boy suffers from blackouts and memory loss during stressful and traumatic times. His worried mother brings him to a psychologist who suggests that he keep a journal to help him remember the events that elude him. After some disturbing incidents his mother decides that it’s best if she and her teenage son, Evan, move home. Evan promises his childhood sweetheart that he will return for her. He could never have guessed the significance of these words.
The years pass and, now in college, Evan (Ashton Kutcher) reads the journals he had written as a young boy. Inexplicably the words transport him back in time to his childhood. Evan uses these visits to his past to try and change the bad events that happened to him but every time he tries to do this something else unintentionally goes terribly wrong…
This movie is not flawless but the ideas behind the story are quite clever and intriguing. Some might feel that it is trying to be too clever but as the story changes and shifts the complexities are well managed by the director and the movie remains intelligent without getting too confusing. Each time Evan returns to his past he unintentionally changes things that effect the present. He wants to undo the wrongs that happened but he has a bit of a puzzle to solve in order to get things right. The movie itself is a bit of a puzzle but, surprisingly, doesn’t trip over itself and keeps track of all the twists and turns that occur.
With regard to the flaws I felt it was unnecessarily violent in parts and one strand of the story relates to child abuse which will unnerve audiences. Also there is no attempt to explain how Evan can travel back to his past and change the course of events. There are a few small hints, including the title, that suggests that some form of chaos maths plays a part.
Ashton Kutcher, best known for his comic roles, was quite good. He looked genuinely frustrated as his attempts to sort out the past only messed things up even further and by the end of the movie he looked a little mad! Amy Smart plays Kayleigh who is the main reason for his time travelling.
The Bottom Line: This is the type of movie you either love or hate. It is a quirky unconventional movie that won’t appeal to everyone but will intrigue others. If you enjoyed Identity you should enjoy this.