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Chaos walking review

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Chaos walking


PG-13.               109 min


Since the Voice is a monthly, sometimes it's hard to decide among movies to review. If there something I feel strongly about it doesn't worry me that it might have been out for a while before publication, especially now that streaming has made the windows of viewership a little bit wider. If the choices    don't seem special, I might opt for the most recent release and that's the case with CHAOS WALKING, kind of a post apocalypse dystopia science fiction yarn set in the reasonably near future.  I usually like that genre but to be honest there were a few red flags before I even got in the car.1st of all CHAOS WALKING is one of those titles that somebody thought sounded cool but really don’t mean anything. 2nd the previews which too often give away the entire plot, were both vague and just a little bit boring.  (Well, I guess that kind of does give away the whole film…) It’s not often that you catch yourself nodding off during the trailers…  3rd it was pretty obvious that most of this film was going to be set outdoors in the woods or fields.  Since it’s sci fi film that tells me  there’s not enough money for enough money for sets and effects. Of course, none of those things are deal breakers if there's a great story great script and great acting. Hey it could happen right? Alas one has to buy a ticket and sit through a few minutes before finding out those elements don't exist either. There are, however, some slightly interesting (but basically meaningless) factors here. The most pervasive one is something called the Noise. CHAOS WALKING is set in a place called New World a planet with atmosphere and vegetation very similar to Earth. As is so often the case the people of Earth have ruined the place environmentally Yada yada and have found a new place to colonize.  But there's a catch, on this world for some inexplicable reason the thoughts of the men, but NOT the women, are audible to everyone else and that phenomenon is called the Noise.  By the way even with a limited budget the producers had enough money to purchase one special effect which is the ghostly swirling of the words around everyone's head as their thoughts are exposed.  (No doubt the director wanted to get his money's worth because use that effect in every single scene.)  Because of the Noise or some other nonsensical reason somebody has decided to kill all the women in a particular settlement.  Nobody figured out that's a bad move if sustaining a colony to repopulate the planet is the goal, but it doesn't take long to figure out that most of these guys are crazy to begin with.   That is with the exception of Todd (Tom Holland) the youngest member of the colony probably in his late teens and has never seen a woman. Now after all these years there's another huge spaceship full of colonists on its way to New World.  They have sent a pair of scouts to scope out the situation before the ship lands but the pod crashes and only Viola (Daisy Ridley) survives.   She and  Todd  form a romantic bond and escape to the next settlement just ahead of crazy mayor Dave (Mads Mikkelsen) and his hit squad. (Another puzzling fact is that the next village seems like it's little  more  than walking distance away.

 Neither director Doug Liman nor any of the lead characters seem to be newcomers so I was particularly surprised by this slipshod production.  I actually gave it a little extra credit just because the story wasn’t exactly the same old thing but that's nowhere near enough to save this one,  just barely enough to keep you from falling asleep.



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