Déjà Vu

Watching this unofficial post-Domino Denzel trilogy in reverse is not doing any service to Deja Vu. It's a good film, but it misses some of the visual flair of those films following it. Scott's form and style work better with a minimal narrative. It gives the director a lot more room to translate the story visually rather than textually. And Deja Vu gets bogged down by that text, which is high-concept, exposition-heavy and remarkably sentimental. It leaves too little room for Scott to "go nuts".

There's still that texture, those zooms, the perpetual forward motion, and (what I retroactively realized) a load of humanity. Scott is great at catching tiny details (hands tensing up, a characteristic gesture) in order to highlight certain traits, making the characters feel more human than they usually do in these types of films. It's not surprising that Scott started out his career wanting to be a documentary filmmaker. He's still applying those ideologies to big blockbuster action fare.

I wish I could've seen him on set, getting that coverage out of the way, and then running around with his cinematographer, capturing the blacklight reflecting in Denzel's eyes, who is staring at the corpse of a beautiful woman and wondering about humanity himself.

But then, of course, the narrative demands the unnecessary textual explanation.