Complicated films like this one are often criticised for being illogical, but you cannot avoid several mistakes without leaving the parts out that make it worth watching. The only thing really relevant is that the whole film is one logical unit, not depending on a few mistakes. Thus, you can easily say that Butterfly Effect is nonsense, but if you don't, the film offers you an interesting story, surprising thoroughgoingness and good actors. Ashton Kutcher is not bad at playing his part, but the worse of all actors. The film is sometimes a bit to tragical(especially Amy Smart's prostitute), but otherwise some tragical parts are well staged. Although there is a happy end for the protagonists, many others are not that lucky.
In the director's cut, we find out more about the familiy's diseases, we get informations about Evan's mother and the hugest logical mistake has been removed-the turn from diaries to home videos.
Furthermore, the end is more interesting than before.
In this case, it is possible aswell that many people dislike it, for they dislike extraordinary scenes in general. But the end is alot more exciting than the theatrical edition's end was, because you can see a baby strangling itself in the womb with the umbilical cord to die.
Theatrical Edition: 108:58 Minutes
Director's Cut: 114:44 Minutes
At the attic, Evan writes in his diary that he can remember covering Kayleigh's ears and that he did not focus on what happened at the mailbox. Furthmore, he writes that his mother had considered hypnosis as a possibility for him to remember his blackouts. Then, the ink is empty and Evan searches for a pen. Doing this, he finds an old box that belonged to his father Jason, containing mysterious pictures and a certificate of death about his grandfather, who died 40 years old in 1972. Evan says: "My grandfather was crazy, too?"
After eating in the restaurant, Evan asks his mother what his grandfather was able to do with his abilities , but his mother does not want to answer. She changes the subject by taking him to a future teller, whose shop is next to the restaurant. Taking Evan's hand, the future teller discovers anxously that Evan does not have any lifeline and no soul and that he actually should be dead. Evan's mother leaves the shop quickly. Evan, saying something cheeky, takes the money they had paid for the session out of the future teller's pot. Outside, his mother smokes a cigarette nervously. Even tries to becalm her. She says the future teller was crazy, but she made her reminisce some unlovely things. Before Evan was born, she had two miscarriages, about which she had never told him before. When she was pregnant with Evan, she was really frightened and thought there would be another miscarriage. When Evan was born, it was like a miracle to her.
Evan is in the prison. One of the prisoners gives to joints to the guard. Then, we can both of the persons from the fight coming to Evan's prison cell to get him away from the bed, to rape him, as they had announced before. Cut. The next day, Evan cleans the floor of the prison wing. In the meantime, one of the prisoners reads out Evan's diaries loudly:"Today, I found my grandfather's death certificate. He died in a nut house just like my father. Mum denies it, but she thinks I'm going to end up the same way." A few prisoners laugh.
While seeing Evan visit his mother, who is suffering from cancer, in the hospital ,we see short flashbacks which show us Evan's mother smoking, when he says, that she has started smoking again because of him.
Evan says he can protect his mother from getting lung cancer.The only thing he has to do is find the day in diary when he lost both his arms because the mailbox exploded. But then he says that he would not have written the entry without arms. Evan's mother is confused about his behaviour. Tommy becalms her, telling her Evan is currently in a bad mood.
After his mom has told Evan he would behave exactly as his father did, Evan says he would not go mad just because of his father. She is astonished about how he got that information. He says that she told him the evening they visited the future teller. Then he comments that that was just a vision he can remember, but which has never happened in reality.
Right after the last cutin two alternative scenes, Evan promises his mother he will get her out of the hospital. In the Theatrical Edition he laughs confidently, saying that, but he does not do that in the Director's cut because he is aware that it won't be as easy as it seems in the Theatrical Edition.
DC: 3,5s | TE: 2s
We can see the black screen after the hospital scene a bit longer than in the Theatrical Edition. (0,5s)
Evan watches several recordings using the film projector. In the Director's Cut we can see a film Jason made when Evan's mother was brought to the delivery room just before his birth. In the Theatrical edition we see a family celebration a few years later, when he meets Kayleigh the first time.
DC: 5s | KF: 3s
DC: 1s | TE: 4s
The following scenes are shown consecutively, but it makes more sense to divide them into three parts.
Evan returns to the time just before bis birth using the film. Suddenly, his mother starts to cry and the doctors take her to the delivery room fast. Then we see Evan having spooled the umbilical cord around his throat to choke himself. During the credits, we hear the future teller saying that Evan should never have lived. We hear Evan's mother talking about her miscarriages during the credits aswell. Then Kayleigh explains she disliked her father but she did not move away with her mother, because she wanted to see Evan. Evan dies in the womb and his mother remains crying.
In the Theatrical Edition Evan returns on the date he had met Kayleigh for the first time. He tells her he hated her and he would kill her and her family if she tried to meet him once again. Kayleigh runs to her mother crying. Evan says "Goodbye" quietly. Then, we see a short scene of the changed reality again.
We see the future of the protagonists: Kayleigh, Tommy, Lenny. Both versions show the same things, but use partly different scenes. Tommy and Kaleigh move to their mother. Tommy is good at the university. Lenny is the star of a birthday party with many guests. The director's cut ends with Kayleigh's marriage. The Theatrical Edition does not contain that part, but instead we see a scene showing the happy future of Evan and his mother.
DC: 64,5s | TE: 19s
Having only avoided a friendship with Kayleigh, Evan is still alive and there is another new scene after the pictures of the future. Evan wakes up in the hostel and asks for Kayleigh. But Lenny does not know someone named Kayleigh. Thus, the insult in the past had fullfilled the plan. Change of scenes. We see Lenny and Evan at a junkyard. They burn all his diaries from the past, aswell as the films and photos. In the future, 8 years later, we see Evan in New York-he has become a psychiatrist. Evan recognizes Kayleigh on the street after talking to his mother on the telephone. Both stop and look after each other without looking each other in the eyes. The film ends.
TE longer: 126,5s