Certificate – 12
Directed By – Doug Liman
Starring – Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, David Oyelowo, Demián Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, Kurt Sutter.
Running Time – 109 Minutes (1 Hour 49 Minutes)
It has taken three years in the making. Still, finally, Chaos Walking is getting released after moving its original March 2019 date as schedules for reshoots, post-production rework and a pandemic pushed further and further.
The thing is this film would’ve made the studio some money and maybe a bit of profit if they got it out near the end of 2019. Even with cinemas opening in the US and other markets, Lionsgate has to eat a loss on it (especially with Godzilla vs Kong now out).
Chaos Walking follows Todd Hewitt (Holland) in the not too distant future, but when a spaceship crashes on his planet, he meets Viola (Ridley) and discovers all the women have disappeared, leaving only men dealing with “The Noise” – a force that projects all their thoughts. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is in danger and Todd vowing to protect her, discovering his own inner power and the truth about his planet.
This movie is dull as anything, and it’s a shame because Holland, Ridley, Mikkelsen and Oyelowo try their utter best to make it enjoyable. As does director Liman, who tries to bring heart-stopping excitement and character moments, but nothing works.
Additionally, there are some really interesting themes within the film, like being settlers on a new home forcing out the locals so it could’ve been a futuristic western, and there are moments you could show as such, but it just falls into a bland YA dystopia.
Then you have “The Noise”, which again is a cool idea seeing what’s inside men’s heads, but it seems to fall on a cliché of men being creepy, and that’s true and realistic; it just would’ve been nice to see some depth. When it comes to Holland’s Hewitt is incredibly annoying.
Elsewhere, Mikkelsen is living it up as the fur-coated villain, and we are told in a sentence why there are no women in his part of the planet, but not shown. If they showed us in a flashback, we could be emotionally invested in hating his Mayor and connect to Holland more.
Holland does have a lovely moment to begin the third act, and he and fellow Brit Ridley do have decent chemistry that helps carry the whole film, but only so far.
There’s nothing else left to say, the two leads did their best and were by far the best thing about the film, but it’s made in such a way that it just looks like stuff happens.
Chaos Walking could’ve been something interesting, but despite the best efforts of Holland and Ridley, this is a bland, boring YA dystopian movie.