Déjà Vu Reviews
Rotten Tomatoes consensus states, "Tony Scott tries to combine action, science fiction, romance, and explosions into one movie, but the time travel conceit might be too preposterous and the action falls apart under scrutiny." Joel Siegel of ABC News called the film technically "well-made," but criticized its attempt to describe a supposedly scientific basis for time travel as both silly and dull, as did Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, who additionally found the depiction of parishes decimated by Hurricane Katrina "vulgar". Todd Gilchrist from IGN rated the film eight out of ten, calling it a "bravura set piece", despite an ending that "feels inappropriate given the urgency (and seeming inevitability) of the story's dénouement." Likewise, Michael Wilmington of the Orlando Sentinel rated the film three out of four stars, citing the "good cast, Tony Scott's swift direction, and unyielding professionalism" as rationale for his rating. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times described the film's exploration of the nature of time and the implications of time travel as having been a "sci-fi staple for generations".
Tony Scott (rest in peace) had his ways of making films, often with over the top of everything and a liking of adding all and everything in one bag of goodies. That resulted often in a spinning head from all the impressions containing of crazy editing, bombs and explosions, macho idealism and exstensive violence. With "Deja Vu" Scott had a script with an added time-travel set up which can be an interesting topic if you write it in a proper way and that you don´t end up in so many angles and ideas within the topic so you confuse the viewer. I reckon Scott had issues with fitting in the time-travel part, even if that was the bearing part of the script it seems, since it becomes slightly incohesive and not clear at all times. That is however not only the problem, the script is quite one dimensional and a bit ridiculous putting a professional terrorist in the centre with hurt feelings after having been turned down by both the Marines and the Army, because their psychological profiling showed he was psychologically unstable. While the script could´ve been aiming at creating a more "richer" background to this modern day terrorism we see on a global scale and trying to make a proper statement, it becomes just a normal action vehicle with no real layers and no real insights. And the time-travel aspect just makes the film slightly confusing and hardly adds to making "Deja Vu" more intriguing. Plus with plot holes are all over the place, you lose the thread early in the film. Denzel Washington does a "Denzel" no more no less, Val Kilmer is not on his top level, Jim Caviezel does what he can to make Oerstadt a despicable person and the truly beautiful and intriguing Paula Patton doesn´t get enough screen time (what´s new in Hollywood...). "Deja Vu" is not a must see in any ways.
Trivia: Scriptwriters Terry Rossio and Bill Marsilii didn't feel Tony Scott recaptured everything in the screenplay. They felt he was more interested in the action scenes, rather than the intricacies of time travel. They wrote a plot that was airtight, but in Scott's hands, the finished product is now filled with plot holes. Rossio was so disillusioned with Deja Vu (2006), he's never seen the film. Scott also admitted he did a mediocre job directing the film, but blamed that on the nineteen-week production schedule, which wasn't as long as he wanted.