chaos walking

★★★

director: doug liman (The edge of tomorrow, the bourne identity)

starring: tom holland, daisy ridley mads mikkelsen and David Oyelowo

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Two unlikely companions embark on a perilous adventure through the badlands of an unexplored planet as they try to escape a dangerous and disorienting reality, where all inner thoughts are seen and heard by everyone.

It’s taken me a while to check Chaos Walking out. What with their being no media screening, I had to squeeze it in between work, life and other film screenings. That gave me enough time to see a slightly off critic buzz around the film and although it’s no revolution of cinema it’s not nearly as bad as some reviewers would have you believe. Chaos Walking is a slickly created sci fi dystopian film, accompanied by two screen grabbing leads in Holland and Ridley.

 

From the director of The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow and based on the best-selling novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, Chaos Walking finds a young man trying to help a young astronaut who crash landed on his planet. 

 

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. 

 

Chaos Walking looks and feels a heck of a lot like the young adult fiction of the past couple of decades: young people fighting against a dystopian society. But this time all the action is set on a planet far, far away. 

 

The story clips along at a great pace with captivating cinematography, costuming, sets and locations. There is enough here to make you feel that you are witnessing another world. The Noise - the affliction that puts only men’s thoughts on display - is also put to great narrative and comedic use. 

 

The action sequences are all pretty slick and enjoyable with one scene reminiscent of a mishap Di Caprio’s character encounters while horse riding in The Revenant. The only aspect that I thought was a bit flat was the ending which seemed to land with nearly every cliche under the sun. 

 

For all of Tom Holland’s public critique of his acting in this film he is not only likeable but completely draws you into the story as does Daisy Ridley. They both have some great chemistry in the film and it would be great to see them back on the big screen together some day. 

 

Chaos Walking is a slickly created sci fi dystopian film, accompanied by two screen grabbing leads in Holland and Ridley.

★★★

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