Film Review – Chaos Walking (2021)

Title – Chaos Walking (2021)

Director – Doug Liman (The Wall)

Cast – Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, Kurt Sutter, Cynthia Erivo

Plot – In the future on a distant planet where men’s thoughts are displayed for all to hear/see in the form of “the noise”, teenager Todd Hewitt (Holland) discovers Viola (Ridley), a crash victim who also happens to be a female, a gender that has long been extinct on Todd’s planet.

“I’ve never seen a girl before. Who are you?”

Review by Eddie on 15/03/2021

I’m fairly certain this is the only time we will see Rey, Peter Parker, Martin Luther King and Hannibal Lector in the same movie, so if there’s nothing else, Doug Liman’s long delayed Sci-Fi at least provides us as viewers that opportunity to see some of cinemas most iconic characters (both real and conjured up) together for one big merry adventure.

Filmed way back in 2017 and a victim of some clear struggles in the editing suite/studio boardrooms, Liman’s adaptation of Patrick Ness’s extremely popular book at points appeared to be unlikely to ever enter existence but after re-shoots in 2019 (with help from Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez) and a global pandemic to contend with, the mid-budget offering has finally seen the light of day.

Considering the traumas of bringing this film to life, Chaos Walking could’ve been an absolute dumpster fire of a film and Liman has had history in the past of delivering highs such as The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow and forgettable outings like the recent Locked Down or Jumper, with Chaos Walking not unwatchable by any means but also not a film that deserved over four years of attention given to it just to end up like this.

The most obvious trouble the film has is in dealing with the central concept of a future planet where men’s thoughts are exposed through an odd occurrence known as “the noise”, an issue that has caused the female population of the planet to become extinct and males on edge at every moment as they try to control their inward thoughts and not let others into their most intimate and personal thinking.

On page this idea may’ve been a lot easier to imagine or conjure up but in a film, poor old Tom Holland as the main focus Todd (a name you will hear pronounced more than you will care to hear) and a rather stagnant Daisy Ridley as Todd’s new friend/love interest Viola struggle to get things happening around a concept that actually is more annoying than it should be when trying to enjoy a film and one that has a lot of ideas but none that really stick or are allowed to breath in a rather generic out couple on the run tale.

None of the energy or spectacle that Liman bought to his key films like the aforementioned Bourne Identity or Edge of Tomorrow is present in Chaos Walking either which is a big missing element of the film.

Exploring Todd’s world that Viola has found herself crashed landed on should be thrilling and full of adventure and filled with heart in mouth moments but mostly you’re just feeling sorry for the actors of this calibre, that includes a you guessed it villainous role for Mads Mikkelsen and a fairly embarrassing batch of roles for the likes of Demián Bichir and David Oyelowo (ranting and raving his way through his screen-time) getting stuck with such dry and uninspired material that should’ve been anything but.

Final Say – 

Unfortunately not worth the wait and pain of the troubles that followed its creation, Chaos Walking is a mostly poor attempt at creating a new Sci-Fi world for cinema-goers to explore and a waste of a large collection of talented performers.

2 antennas out of 5 

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