More troubling is the villain (James Caviezel), who spouts off about how "a little human collateral is the cost of freedom," and who sees himself as a god-like figure, carrying out a mission involving unspeakable human carnage. The stereotype of the zealous madman is wearisome, but the interplay between the murderer and Carlin is crisp and tense. The success or failure of Carlin's mission is in doubt until the film's final moments, and a coda raises some questions even as it answers others.

Compared with the overkill of Scott's and Bruckheimer's earlier work, Déjà Vu merits special attention. The time-travel element and faith language, while skirted over, suggest that there is more to this story than meets the eye, at least on first viewing. Such concerns may fade away upon second viewing, but the very idea that an additional viewing of this mainstream entertainment might be required to fully digest the storyline and its implications is oddly compelling. For a movie that starts out as something familiar - something we feel like we've seen before - such an evolution is encouraging.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language:  Various profanities.
  • Violence:  Domestic terrorism includes detonation of a bomb on board a boat, killing men, women, and children; a body is examined by a coroner; a man is shot, then lit on fire; scenes of destruction in New Orleans; a killer describes the way he murdered one victim; a taunt about a criminal's sexual activities once he's in jail; reckless driving; a man steals an ambulance; gunfire; a man is run down by an automobile.
  • Sex/Nudity:  Glimpses of a woman showering and in various states of dress; kissing.
  • Smoking/Drinking:  Joke about hash.
  • Religion:  A woman says grace before a meal; a funeral service includes religious language and the singing of "Amazing Grace"; discussion of man's ability to affect God's purposes in time and space; a Baptist church revival is depicted.