A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.
Based on a successful series of fantasy novels, ‘Chaos Walking’ is the latest adaptation to stumble in its journey from the page to the screen. Finally being released after a series of reshoots, disastrous test screenings and production problems, it would be fair to say my expectations were low, and it would also be fair to say that the final result didn’t exceed those low expectations. Set in the future, the film takes place on a planet not dissimilar to earth, except it is inhabited by no woman, dangerous aliens and all the men are able to hear each other’s thoughts (referred to as ‘noise’). When Viola (Daisy Ridley) crash lands on the planet, the natives are spooked at the arrival of a woman, and it falls to a young man called Todd (Tom Holland) to try and protect her.
I haven’t read the books so was unfamiliar with the concept and the first thing ‘Chaos Walking’ fails at is in creating an interesting world that you want to spend time in, or in bringing its concept to life. I really struggled with the way the ‘noise’ was shown on screen and whilst it is clearly vital to the premise, it’s really irritating in a cinematic format, in the way director Doug Liman has chosen to display it anyway. It was also frustrating seeing a cast of good actors stranded with poor writing and paint by numbers characterisation, with none of the core cast given much to work with. It wastes its charismatic leads (Holland and Ridley), we have David Oyelowo provided with one character trait (raving mad) and then there is Mads Mikkelsen as the guy who is obviously going to turn out to be the villain (let’s be honest, no was fooled that he was going to be a good guy).
The books that ‘Chaos Walking’ is based on are very popular so there must be a good story behind the surface that led to this being made, but in the case of this movie, it certainly doesn’t find it.
Directed By: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, David Oyelowo, Kurt Sutter and Ray McKinnon