Chaos Walking

Chaos Walking ★★½

Doug Liman hasn't had a very good 2021, has he? With Locked Down and now Chaos Walking, the man who gave us gems such as Edge of Tomorrow and Bourne Identity is slowly taking a turn. Yet, rather surprising, Chaos Walking isn't the unrealisable film it could have been. It’s certainly not great, but I rather liked some of it. 

Based on the young adult science fiction series by Patrick Ness, and starring Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen and Nick Jonas, the story follows a dystopian world where there are no women, and all men can hear each other's thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called "Noise." When a woman, Viola (Ridley), crash lands on the planet, a young man, Todd (Holland), must help her escape. 

In our current age of pre-processed film spectacle, there is something strangely pleasing, even somewhat exciting, about how unkempt this all feels. Thankfully, its two charismatic leads share just enough chemistry and the film's villain, Mads Mikkelsen himself, is often pleasing, if somewhat underdeveloped throughout. Mikkelsen has played iconic villains before, and while Prentiss isn't nearly as memorable as Hannibal Lecter or Le Chiffre, he still manages to imbue Chaos Walking with a sense of danger.

However, Chaos Walking sets out on a potentially interesting path that sadly misses its premise. While the great cast makes this sci-fi adventure worthwhile, the story's predictable and confusing moments will often leave audience members scratching their heads. Despite the film clearly hoping to launch another young adult cinematic series, introducing some intriguing ideas about toxic masculinity and adolescent insecurity, it's one that's failed to start well and thus, given the troubled production, is one that’ll fail to gain a follow-up. 
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