Chaos Walking has a more interesting back story than the story itself. The concept is interesting but the plot muddles along and outside of a couple decent scenes and performances from Holland and Ridley, doesn’t have very much memorable going for it.
Genre(s): Sci-Fi Fantasy, Adventure
Lionsgate | PG13 – 109 min. – $42.99 | May 25, 2021
Date Published: 05/16/2021 | Author: The Movieman
Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
Note: The screen captures in this review were taken from the included Blu-ray disc
and does not represent the quality of the 4K transfer.
THE MOVIE — 3/5
Plot Synopsis: In the not too distant future, Todd Hewitt (TOM HOLLAND) discovers Viola (DAISY RIDLEY), a mysterious girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by “the Noise” – a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is threatened, and as Todd vows to protect her, he will have to discover his own inner power and unlock the planet’s dark secrets.
Quick Hit Review: You’re asking for trouble when you have the word “chaos” in the title and is happens, this was a reportedly chaotic production with plenty of mishaps, mostly to star Tom Holland it seems, and a finished result that supposedly had studio execs believing it was unsalvageable. Following the production, extensive reshoots were undertaken with the participation of director Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead remake, Don’t Breath and Girl in the Spider’s Web), though I guess Doug Liman was still on board. The result is a movie that was… fine.
As you can see, I think the behind-the-scenes aspects were far more interesting than the movie itself (probably similar to Alien 3, although the fault was on the studio less so than David Fincher). I thought Chaos Walking was okay, a bit underwhelming perhaps despite the interesting setup and world. The leads with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland had their moments even when Holland’s Todd Hewitt character, and trust me, you will not forget that name (thinks it hundreds of times) but neither are terribly noteworthy with their performances, but in fairness considering the behind-the-scenes anarchy, not entirely sure anybody else could’ve done much better.
It should be noted that, like most movies, I go in judging the film itself rather than how well it’s been adapted. However 99% of the time not only have not read the source material and likely might not have even heard of it. Such is the case with Chaos Walking. As it is, the film isn’t at all bad and if the production was troubled and things were fixed during reshoots, got to give the filmmakers and/or studio credit for salvaging what they could and the end result was something that was entertaining to an extent yet also a bit forgettable, with no real set or action sequences that really stood out.
The film was directed by Doug Liman who seems to have a propensity for going into films without a locked script, as he noted in the included commentary (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Edge of Tomorrow being three examples). The script was worked apparently by a variety of writers over the years with the novelist Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls) and Christopher Ford (Spider-Man: Homecoming) being the two credited writers.
As it stands, Chaos Walking is a fine movie. Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s probably worth a rental but not entirely sure how much replay value it has. I honestly wonder if this would’ve been better served as a limited television series than feature film (albeit without Ridley and Holland attached).
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3¾/5
This two-disc release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The features are on both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs.
Audio Commentary — Director Doug Liman, Editor Doc Crotzer and Producer Alison Winter. This is a fairly honest as modern commentaries go, on the difficulties of the production beginning without a locked script and doing it in a rush as they only had Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland available for a limited time.
A Director’s Noise (18:10) — Doug Liman discusses, over behind-the-scenes footage, his approach to filming a difficult story.
Inner Thoughts with Patrick Ness (9:03) — Interview with the novel’s author and co-scriptwriter on the idea behind it.
The Source of the Silence (7:18) — Daisy Ridley discusses her character and the story.
Citizens of Prentisstown (10:09) — Introduction to various characters and respective actors including Tom Holland, Mads Mikkelsen and David Oyelowo.
The Music of Chaos Walking (4:17) — Sort of a mini-commentary of the composers talking about a couple different scenes and music cues.
Deleted Scenes (45:01) — There are seven scenes cut from the film and includes an optional commentary with Liman, Crotzer and Winter.
Theatrical Trailer (2:24)
4K ULTRA HD VIDEO – 4¾/5, BLU-RAY VIDEO – 4½/5
|Lionsgate releases Chaos Walking onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray presented with a 2.38 widescreen aspect ratio (as measured) and given a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfer respectively. The picture on both formats looks great, detail is incredibly sharp throughout (a bit sharper on the 4K) and colors appear to be well balanced albeit not entirely vibrant as the film’s tone is rather bleak with a more natural palette. Black levels meanwhile is stark without appearing crushed.|
AUDIO – 4¾/5
|Both formats come with Dolby Atmos tracks which showcased the dystopian-esque future rather well. Dialogue comes across with good clarity and the action-centric sequences, with horses galloping through the forest or our main characters being chased down a river, gives this some outstanding depth.|
OVERALL – 3½/5
Overall, Chaos Walking has a more interesting back story than the story itself. The concept is interesting but the plot muddles along and outside of a couple decent scenes and performances from Holland and Ridley, doesn’t have very much memorable and is one of those films, amongst many others, that is a footnote than anything that stands out.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.