Chaos Walking Movie Review & Film Summary: A Borderline Engaging Yet Unrealized Sci-Fi

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Video Source – Lionsgate Movies (Lionsgate Movies YouTube Channel)

Chaos Walking is a borderline movie which falls under the basic formulas of a typical sci-fi movie even with it an amazing idea and well done source material. Its driving factors are its Performances and its steady treasure hunt-like vibe, which even after all of the inconsistencies and laziness, somehow keeps the viewer hooked.

Chaos Walking Movie Plot

Chaos Walking revolves around Todd who is on a mission to get Viola back to her ship. It is set in a new world where all the thoughts of men can be seen and heard. Based in a distant future, Chaos Walking emanates what it’s like to have thoughts which are shared by all.

Chaos Walking Movie Review

Chaos Walking is a unique concept which ultimately falls prey to melodrama and repetitiveness. This Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley starrer works in a lot of ways and sure keeps things entertaining, but the fact that it keeps using the same formulaic means to do so makes the movie somewhat stagnant. The idea is surely interesting and full of potential. Yet the world and the screenplay of the movie don’t carve enough sequences to utilize it in a way which does justice to its source. All this being said, the performances of the cast, especially Tom Holland and Mads Mikkelsen, keep this boat afloat and even though Daisy Ridley didn’t have that impactful of an arc, the chemistry between her and Tom Holland’s character was fun to witness.

Chaos Walking Movie: The Unique Concept of Chaos Walking

Chaos Walking begins with Todd Hewitt (Played by Tom Holland) wandering in the forests of the new world. He is accompanied by his dog and roams alone in the misty, grey wilderness. The forest is filled with creatures and otherworldly insects, who make for good dog food. The noise is nothing but the thoughts of a man visualized through colourful smoke around their heads. This abnormality, which only applies to males, causes everything they think to form an image around them. Every little thought has a voice which can be heard and felt by everyone present around the person. This is primarily what puts Chaos in Chaos Walking. The situation in Prentisstown takes an unusual turn when a space carrier crashes on the surface of New World. This is discovered by Todd, and he reacts in the only way he knows, by approaching the Mayor (Played by Mads Mikkelsen). Mayor is a divisive and stern man who knows how to cloud his thoughts and use them to his advantage. The girl, who emerged from the space carrier, is the first woman which is seen by the population of Prentisstown. All the other female population were destroyed in a mysterious war, and supposedly killed by aliens. Viola (Played by Daisy Ridley) breaks the equilibrium of the town and sends its people on a manhunt for her and Todd takes it upon himself to get her to safety.

Now there’s a lot of under explanation and overuse which takes place in this movie. Things like the concept of the noise works mostly as a plot allowance and every time I expected the screenplay to go ham with the concept, it ended up being used as a hologram. Its not that the final product is rendered unwatchable, but the potential for the concept to really open doors for some awe-inspiring twists and turns was forever untapped. Chaos Walking is based on getting from one place to another and what I really enjoyed in the movie was the chuckle-worthy performance by Tom Holland. His character is conflicted, with women, with his town and with his manliness. The film utilizes this to the maximum and fleshes his character into an adorable being who accepts situations yet struggles with his acceptance of them later on. He is someone who spends all his time trying to pretend and be a hero in front of the first woman he has seen in his entire life and eventually kiss her maybe, but his arc by the end of the film enhances his persona drastically. Daisy Ridley was just fine, don’t expect to learn everything about the character by the end of the film. I feel like her character could have used some introspection or information to develop more of an emotional bond. 

In a still from Chaos Walking Movie

Chaos Walking Movie: Some unsatisfactory pay-offs

The screenplay doesn’t necessarily include engaging dialogue every time, but they do bring out the character of the world to some extent. The payoffs don’t feel worthy of the build-up and the action sequences fall short of exhilarating moments. But the atmosphere and the cinematography bring out a really eerie and lonely vibe. It somehow feels very natural and realistic with appropriate usage of sci-fi elements where necessary. The set design and the props feel minimal yet significant. To summarize, this film really shines in creating a subtle sci-fi world with different elements scattered throughout. 

There were arcs that I couldn’t fully comprehend in the story. Like the Native Alien storyline. They are introduced once in the entire film and their motive and habitat is never looked into again. I was thinking that the Alien whose life was spared would come back in order to save them, but the screenplay just dumps that entire storyline for good. There are a lot more moments like this which went beyond my understanding and unfortunately, never elevated Chaos Walking to what it could have been. It’s a good one time watch but I can’t imagine going through all of that again just for unsatisfying payoffs and an underwhelming and derivative final act.

Chaos Walking Movie Critical Reception

Chaos Walking stands at a low 22% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus being, “Chaos Walking sets out on a potentially interesting path, but this dystopian adventure badly bungles its premise and limps toward the finish.” Its Metascore is 39 with Generally unfavorable reviews based on 31 Critic Reviews.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Chaos Walking falls prey to mediocrities and lazy writing, even with a potential to be ground breaking with its concept. It has some underdeveloped characters but the protagonist keeps the viewer engaged and that’s all this movie needs to stay afloat. 

Author

  • Hardik is a Mumbai based writer who is a cinephile. Nothing interests him more than movies and visual entertainment. His other hobbies include reading and singing (At least, he likes to think that he sings well). You can connect with him on his Instagram.