"Chaos Walking" is a sci-fi action film based on the novel "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness. Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge Of Tomorrow) and starring Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, and Mads Mikkelsen, it certainly lives up to its title - it is a Chaotic mess that weakly Walks through a potentially interesting story.
In the year 2257 AD, the all male colonists of the planet New World are affected by a condition referred to as "The Noise" which causes them to hear and see other people's thoughts. The small settlement of Prentisstown are led by their mayor David Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen), who has found a way to control his Noise to suppress his own thoughts from others. One day, Prentisstown resident Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) stumbles across a crashed spaceship whose only survivor is a young girl (Daisy Ridley), whom much to his surprise, has no readable thought patterns. The girl introduces herself as Viola and the two of them are soon forced to go on the run after mayor Prentiss decides she must be held prisoner to extract further information regarding her origins.
I'm not really a big fan of young adult fiction novels, although I am fully aware of their popularity. The Harry Potter and The Hunger Games series have all been adapted into successful feature films, and as a result, have managed to earn the respect of both fans of the original books and filmgoers alike. "Chaos Walking", on the other hand, does nothing to follow the winning formula of how a book, let alone an entire series, should be brought to the big screen. Rather than taking the time to immerse its audience in the world it has created, it instead throws out plot elements at such an erratic rate that it is impossible to invest yourself in anything. Within the first ten minutes, I was already confused as to what type of movie I was watching as it never properly establishes its tone. Is it an introspective science fiction drama or is it a nightmarish dystopian action film? This clash of genres may have fared better on paper but on screen it simply doesn't work. Since I have not read the original book, I don't have much to compare it to, although "Artemis Fowl" and "A Wrinkle In Time" do come to mind. Each of these two films did a terrible job at bringing their stories to the screen in a way that could please everyone and this film is equally punishing to newcomers to the source material.
Given the film's intriguing idea of being able to see and hear the thoughts of every other person, it runs the concept into the ground almost instantly. The constant overlapping voices became very annoying after a while and I was often begging for scenes where characters would just interact with each other normally. In addition to this, the editing in this film is downright dreadful, always cutting back and forth between the main characters running away from something and bad attempts at expository dialogue from their pursuers. This is also not helped by the film's lurid colour saturation, which is a dull grey from beginning to end. Scenes that could have taken the opportunity to show the vibrance of certain areas of the planet are instead putrid and ugly to look at. Upon some post-viewing research, I discovered that this film was supposed to come out in 2017 but poor test screenings required reshoots, shelving its release until four years later. If this is the final product of all those changes then I'd hate to imagine how bad the original film must have been.
None of the cast members looked as though they wanted to be in this film. As much as I enjoy the individual work of both Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, their chemistry here was non-existent. It never felt as though these two characters were growing close to one another during their journey, aside times where the plot demanded it. Holland always looked as though he was annoyed when saying his lines and never displayed the usual enthusiasm we've come to expect from him over the years. I guess this may be due to his frustration from all the reshoots he had to do, so you can't really blame him considering he apparently missed attending the premiere of Avengers: Endgame to finish this film. Likewise, Daisy Ridley looked bored throughout the movie, so much so that in one scene where she's reading from a diary, she sounded so monotone that I'm convinced she was just reading lines from a changed script handed to her for the first time. It's very clear that these two didn't care about being in this film and if they don't care then why should we?
Though I can't speak for fans of the original novel, I can tell that this big screen treatment of an otherwise popular set of books is complete failure. It would be unfair to assume all of the author's work is as bad as this so I'm going to place the blame on scripting issues, production troubles and various other problems. All the potential was there for this film to be at least semi-decent but it seems very little was done in the past four years to make it happen. Due to the film being a box office bomb (it only grossed one fifth of its total budget), it is unlikely the other two books will be adapted anytime soon but after viewing this travesty, that is definitely for the best.
I rate it 2/10.
Action / Adventure / Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Action / Adventure / Fantasy / Sci-Fi
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. From the director of The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow and based on the best-selling novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland star with Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, Kurt Sutter, and David Oyelowo in Chaos Walking.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 08, 2021 at 03:15 PM