Thursday, March 4, 2021

Chaos Walking (2021)

Movie Name/Year: Chaos Walking (2021)
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: 3 Arts Entertainment, BRON Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Quadrant Pictures, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Belga Films, BfParis, Eagle Films, Encore Films, HKC Entertainment, Independent Films, Lionsgate, Metropolitan Filmexport, Mongkol Major, StudioCanal Germany, GEM Entertainment
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: Patrick Ness, Christopher Ford
Actors: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, Kurt Sutter, Cynthia Erivo, Bethany Anne Lind, Mads Mikkelsen, Nick Jonas, Ray McKinnon, Vincent Leclerc, Blane Crockarell, François Gauthier, Tyrone Benskin, Frank Fontaine, Don Jordan, Patrick Garrow, Julian Richings
Blurb from IMDb: 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.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’ve got a lot to say about Chaos Walking, and I need to start with how critics are taking it.
The majority of critics dislike this film. I have to say that I’m not surprised, but I also don’t agree with how harsh they’re being. Where Chaos Walking was not a perfect film, I don’t believe it was bad.
Dystopian films are tricky. They tend not to be taken seriously unless they are non-stop action or intensely cerebral. On top of that, critics perpetually trash YA dystopian films for being ‘too familiar.’  Never mind that the majority of them are based off award winning books with, at the very least, the same plot.
Right there, I have to call bullshit.

Either book critics are too soft, (as a writer, I do not believe this is so), or the majority of critics have a pole shoved so far up their ass that they’re more wood than human.
Even for movies like The Hunger Games (2012), you can see that critics loved it back when it came out, but now will bash it in reviews of other YA movies. The hypocrisy is real.
Long story short, critics are trashing Chaos Walking. I think they were always going to, no matter what happened. I also believe that when we start to see audience reviews, they’re going to be higher. I don’t expect anything in the 80% range, but probably in the 60s.

The fact of the matter is that Chaos Walking had a notoriously difficult premise to work with. For years, production companies saw it as impossible to bring to life on screen. The rights to the film have been floating around since 2011. Several directors have been attached to the film throughout the 10 years it’s been stuck in development hell.
That’s one of the reasons I was so interested in seeing it. I wanted to know how they managed to convince the money men that they could create a profitable visualization.
Personally, I think it was well done.

The way the creative team went about making the noise visible worked. Everyone thought at different speeds, some people had an easier time hiding their thoughts than others… it felt right. I do understand the take some people have on the main character’s thoughts. They’ve described them as intrusive and kind of like they were bouncing off the walls. As someone with ADHD, though, even that felt right. It felt like a representation of my own brain.

There were times that the movie slowed to a crawl, especially in the beginning. However, I attribute that to the fact that they used minimal exposition to explain the universe. In sci-fi/fantasy universes, especially those that seriously differ from ours, getting the audience to understand the setting is incredibly important. Chaos Walking sought to explain it without talking down to people or inserting awkward script moments. I appreciated it, and it made me feel like the slow moments were worth it.
I do have to acknowledge the plot holes, but that may have been an issue of editing. It’s very possible that the books fill those in well.
I enjoyed Chaos Walking. It’s not perfect, but it is fun and entertaining. Furthermore, it got me to buy the books. I see that as a success.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 25%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – 40/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.3/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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