The film did not receive a bevy of positive reviews, with reviewers criticizing its formulaic copy of the first film, simply with different characters.
Julie (Erica Durance) and her boyfriend, Nick (Eric Lively), are celebrating Julie's 24th birthday with their friends Trevor (Dustin Milligan) and Amanda (Gina Holden). Julie and Nick start to discuss their future when Nick is called in to work, urgently. He has to go to the meeting because he is up against co-worker Dave (David Lewis) for a promotion. As the four friends drive back to the city there's an accident with a semi-truck. Of the four friends, Nick is the only survivor. Later, when looking at a photograph of himself and Julie, everything in the room begins to shudder and shake, while the people in the photograph begin moving.
One year later, Nick suffers a blinding headache and nosebleed at work, while presenting an important sales pitch to investors. As a result he is given a week's suspension. Back home, Nick looks at photographs from Julie's birthday and somehow manages to transport himself back to the moment just before the fatal accident. This time, he knows how to avoid the accident and he awakens in a new timeline where Julie is living happily with him. However, in this reality, Nick's life is ruined when he is fired for backing up his friend and now work colleague Trevor.
Later, Nick sees a Christmas photograph of him, his friends and work colleagues, and realizes that this was the point at which a crucial deal was made, resulting in Dave's promotion. Nick decides to try to alter this in his favor, so he concentrates on the photo in order to trigger another episode. Sure enough, he finds himself at the party.
After deliberately spilling a drink on Dave to distract him he finds the paperwork for the crucial deal. He then returns to the present in a new version of reality. In this reality, Nick is the vice-president of the company, but he and Julie have split up and he is living the bachelor lifestyle. Also, Trevor and Nick end up on the wrong side of a shady investor, and the company is broke. Nick confesses everything to his mother, who tells him that he can't "control everything". She says his father also tried to control things and ultimately committed suicide.
Nick transports himself to the scene from the start of the movie, hoping to finally fix everything by breaking up with Julie. However, he didn't bank on how upset she would be – and she confesses to being pregnant and speeds away in his car. Fearing a similar accident as the original, Nick speeds after her, but ends up facing an oncoming vehicle himself. He opts to save Julie rather than himself and drives off the cliff.
One year later, Julie lives in New York with her son, Nick Jr., who has the same affliction as his father, since his environment becomes unstable while looking at a photograph of his parents and their friends.Eric Lively as Nick Larson
Erica Durance as Julie Miller
Dustin Milligan as Trevor Eastman
Gina Holden as Amanda
David Lewis as Dave Bristol
Andrew Airlie as Ron Callahan
Susan Hogan as Katherine Larson
J. R. Bourne as Malcolm Williams
Lindsay Maxwell as Grace Callahan
Zoran Vukelic as Christopher
The Butterfly Effect 2 was met with negative reviews. Reviewers claim that the sequel adds nothing to the message of the first movie, covering exactly the same ground with different characters. With a limited temporal scope, the story of this movie isn't as intertwined as the first. Also, the less-impressive special effects and very short filming time combine to give the movie a much less impressive feel than the original. It received a negative reception from Reel Film Reviews, which called it "An abominable, pointless sequel."
Additionally, it was argued that the protagonist of The Butterfly Effect, Evan Treborn, was a likable character in his own right who tried to make things correct for his friends and family. The main character in this movie often does things such as going back in time to get himself promoted instead of one of his colleagues. This in effect made him into a highly unlikable "salesman". The ending scene with his child in particular was also highly criticized as only being used to be able to continue the successful concept started with the first movie.