The schizoid Dj Vu cobbles together a story—a completely ludicrous one—that probably should be conveyed to you. But pointing out the movie’s aggressively lunkheaded politics is fun too, so let’s do both: We open on New Orleans, post-Katrina. It’s a happy place, devoid of damage and suffering. That is, of course, until a bomb goes off in the harbor, killing hundreds of...servicemen. The government response is swift (these being mostly white servicemen); soon enough, hero Denzel Washington is spying on civilians with scary satellite technology, a secret project called “Snow White.” The bomber will be discovered, he’s sure, in the previous days’ footage. What he doesn’t know yet is that the government has also developed technology to alter the past and prevent the tragedy from happening. Eventually, that’s exactly what happens.
Beam me up, Tony Scotty. Does the director actually receive checks from the Bush White House, or is jingoistic paranoia his natural mien? Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Spy Game, Man on Fire: It’s an impressive run. With each new film, Scott ups the caffeine levels, the jittery ADD editing, the fogged-set techniques his smarter brother Ridley put to beautiful use in Alien and Blade Runner. But it’s Tony’s slick way with the issues of the day (well amplified by producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s periodic explosions) that makes his output pretty close to a working definition of evil. If there’s any justice, Dj Vu will become the key film of the fantastical, corrupt Bush era—even the title is perfect. (Now playing; Click here for venues.)—Joshua Rothkopf