Time travel is a topic that is often restricted to the fringes of science fiction (or romantic comedy, if we’re into the sub-variant of infinite loops and existentials), but its mechanics have unique potential for thrillers, action and suspense. For example: how crime fighting would change if law enforcement could control the flow of time.
That is what ‘Dejá Vù (Changing the past)’ proposes, a 2006 production that you can see on Disney + and in which an agent played by Denzel Washington discovers that an explosion on a ferry in New Orleans is the work of a terrorist. His insight brings him into contact with a research team that has a machine that allows him to manipulate time to travel to the past and prevent the explosion from happening again.
‘Dejá Vù’ is directed by Tony Scott, who before his death in 2012 shot a few films in the final stretch of his career (many of them starring Washington) that were signed a unique style of shooting action and suspense: the brutal ‘El Fuego de la Venga’, the unclassifiable ‘Domino’, the action-packed ‘Assault on the Pelham Train 1 2 3’ and the hilarious ‘Unstoppable’. But the strangest and most special of all is this anti-terrorist time travel prank.
With the unique verve that Tony Scott brought to his films thanks to his visionary concept of editing and planning, this thriller becomes a peculiar experiment full of plot twists and constant surprises. His vision of time travel has more to do with the obsession with surveillance that Scott already developed in ‘Public Enemy’, but even so, he had scientific advice so that the wormholes that appear in the film were consistent and they made sense.