History Headscratchers / TheButterflyEffect

19th Apr '17 3:04:32 PM prystege
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** Time travel is not real science. By definition, no depiction of it is 'realistic'. That being said, the movie isn't even science fiction. Evan's power is essentially magic. The movie isn't worried about explaining the rules, but it doesn't portray itself as a hard look at time travel. It's just about what this man would do. The only thing the movie has to do is be consistent. The sudden appearance of the 'stigmata' apparently [[note]]One of the first times Evan time travels, he gives himself a scar from a lit cigarette. This shows him that his 'flashbacks' are having an effect on his present. When he goes back to the present, we don't see if other people notice that it wasn't there before, but it could be a half-assed set-up for the 'stigmata' scene[[/note]] breaks that consistency, but the movie's internal logic is otherwise fine. The blackouts are self-fulfilling prophecies caused by Evan choosing to go back to a moment. They act as markers for when he'll time travel, but he hasn't necessarily done anything during those blackouts in the 'original' timeline. For example, he apparently went along with being molested the first time around, which no future version of him would've done. From the start, we are seeing the results of time travel. The drawing shown in the beginning is of the two Neo-Nazis that Evan kills in prison [[note]]The last thing that happens in the 'original' timeline is Tommy threatening him after Kaley's suicide. It's possible that this would've played out like the frat boy timeline with Evan going to prison. That's not really a logical stretch, but it is certainly FanWank[[/note]], being choked by his dad was a result of talking about his ability. Evan is unable to take TheSlowPath, so we only see the thing he changed and its effect on the present. Evan obviously didn't scar himself in the 'original' timeline [[note]]which was the whole point of doing it; create scars that weren't there before[[/note]], so we never see what happens immediately after he goes back and does it. The version of the elementary school scene we see is not what happened in the original timeline. The scars theoretically should not have just appeared out of nowhere, but we aren't shown another example of a similar thing happening to know whether the movie is being consistent with its own logic.

21st Oct '16 1:47:05 AM eroock
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* [[TimeyWimeyBall Time travel inconsistencies]] aside, there's no mention of Evan ever having a trial before being sent to prison after he [[spoiler:kills Tommy]] nor is there any mention about why he didn't [[spoiler:plead self-defense]] when the murder was clearly witnessed as such and could have avoided any kind of stay in jail.
15th Aug '16 11:54:10 PM Homemaderat
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** In general Evan isn't exactly shown to be the best decision maker in any timeline. It doesn't help one's attempt to rationale every thing in the movie, when your main character is like this. The movie doesn't exactly label it's mechanics out in a thorough manner. It's timey-wimey at best.
18th Apr '16 7:11:39 PM Luppercus
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***There's no reason to assume their father had no visitation rights, so he probably did abuse them, just not as frequently as in the original timeline.



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20th Aug '15 9:15:22 AM Talia_T
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*** I bought it. He had an intense personality (his psychotic actions are all prompted by the idea that Evan and Kayley becoming a couple will mean his bond with his sister will be weakened, and in that reality, she's all he has. In the religious reality, Evan and Kayley are not a couple, and although Kayley is dating Lenny, Tommy's friendship with Evan and Lenny is visibly much stronger than the other realities, probably due to him saving the lady and her baby and proving that he's not 100% twisted. So he can withstand her having an independent life.) and an abusive history, both of which would make him a prime candidate for someone who goes full-whack into a belief system.

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*** ** I bought it. He had an intense personality (his psychotic actions are all prompted by the idea that Evan and Kayley becoming a couple will mean his bond with his sister will be weakened, and in that reality, she's all he has. In the religious reality, Evan and Kayley are not a couple, and although Kayley is dating Lenny, Tommy's friendship with Evan and Lenny is visibly much stronger than the other realities, probably due to him saving the lady and her baby and proving that he's not 100% twisted. So he can withstand her having an independent life.) and an abusive history, both of which would make him a prime candidate for someone who goes full-whack into a belief system.
*** Tommy's reasoning for being so angry at Evan in the first timeline was that Evan was taking Kayley away, as the above trooper pointed out - in his words "the only person on the planet who doesn't think I'm a piece of shit?". My guess is saving the woman and baby turned Tommy into a better person was the fact that he then had others who admired him for being a hero
19th Aug '15 1:32:33 PM Homemaderat
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** While it's not perfect, we should also remember the first time travel change he makes is accidentally burning himself with the cigarette. He acts like this is new, and it didn't seem to change anything timeline wise....or did it?
20th Apr '15 12:43:20 AM Reika
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** Because he can only go back in time if he has a physical memory of it (the journals, photographs, home movies). He didn't have a physical memory of a few days before Tommy's demise and thus couldn't time travel to that point.
13th Apr '14 10:20:51 PM scrissle
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* Out of all of the crapsack timelines Evan got himself into, I have to wonder about the frat boy one, where Kayleigh is okay and happy and they're together. Everything seemed great and to be going well until Tommy appeared and then Evan killed him, making it so Evan pretty much ruined a perfectly good timeline for himself. My question is, why didn't he just go back in time to a day or two before and stop himself from killing Evan after he'd pepper sprayed him to the ground? Sure, maybe Tommy wouldn't have been very well off, but it would have been the most acceptable timeline that doesn't end in Evan removing himself from their lives.
20th Feb '14 10:20:01 AM ViolaCesario
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** I never thought the movie was blaming Evan for everyone's problems (theatrical cut only). It's just that he couldn't reliably change Mr. Miller and could only control his own actions. Keeping Kayleigh away from him meant keeping her away from her abusive father, so making sure they never became friends was more of a HeroicSacrifice than a result of Evan messing up everyone's lives without that change. He was protecting her from her father, not from himself.
28th Jan '14 4:58:40 PM BrendanDRizzo
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* Why does nobody hold Kayleigh and Tommy's father responsible for everyone's misery? He sexually abused them (and possibly Evan as well) for crying out loud. Yet the movie seems to place the blame for everyone's misfortune entirely on Evan existing, ignoring the fact that there was nothing he could have done to stop Kayleigh's father before he discovered his TimeTravel abilities. I know, there's TheReveal that Kayleigh only chose to stay with her father because she liked Evan, but blaming Evan for the consequences of that (since he had absolutely no way of knowing) seems loaded with UnfortunateImplications. If anything, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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