As a boy, Evan and his friends witness, and in some cases cause, a series of bizarre, shocking and disturbing events, which are so stressful they cause Evan to blackout, as though his mind were instantly repressing the memories. Of course, the doctors can find nothing wrong with the boy, but recognise the symptoms from his mad father.
As the film progresses, Evan stops having the blackouts, but instead realises he can cast his mind back to the events he blocked out and relive them. Or is he living them for the first time and creating his own past?
It's hard to discuss a film like this without giving too much away, but it is fair to say that what follows is a story about a man who thinks he can change the past, but who is also considered to be as crazy as his father.
A superficial look at this film might lead you to believe it's a hideous mix of stories like The Time Machine, Groundhog Day, Donnie Darko, Memento and even Bedazzled. However, a more detailed inspection will show you that this movie is a very well crafted and original film. The direction is competent and at times exciting, the plot twists will genuinely keep you guessing and for someone reputed to be such a poor actor, Kutcher manages to turn in a reasonable performance.
The ending of the film doesn't quite add up, which is not unusual in a film that deals with altering the past, but that aside The Butterfly Effect is an action-packed, adult-themed movie that is definitely worth a watch.