<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 7, 2021



‘CHAOS WALKING’ is a futuristic sci-fi film directed by Doug Liman, best known for “Bourne Identity” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”. It is based on a trilogy with the same title and it uses the story from the first book, “The Knife of Never Letting Go”. 

It is set in the year 2267 when men have left the our own planet, Earth, and moved to another planet called New World. 

The native creatures called the Spackle in this new planet have killed all the women of their colonizers and only the men survived. 

The lead character is Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland, who reportedly started this before he did “Spiderman”), and he lives in a place called Prentisstown (that is like a set from an old Western movie with horses and wooden houses) where the mayor is David Prentiss (Mads Mikelsen).

A spaceship that intends to settle also in New World sends a space craft in advance but it crashes. Only one passenger survives, a girl called Viola (Daisy Ridley), and Todd is so excited to see her as he has never seen a woman before. 

The other guys from the town capture Viola, saying she is a spy, but she manages to escape and Todd helps her to go to a place called Farbranch where she will be safe. 

They travel together with his pet dog, Manchee, encountering some adventures along the way. When they get to Farbranch, it’s populated not only by men but also women and children. 

The people there distrust Todd as he is from Prentisstown. He later learns that the women in his town were not really killed by the Spackle as claimed by Prentiss, but by Prentiss himself and his men. 

Todd realizes that Prentiss is a liar. Prentiss then arrives and demands that Viola be given to him.  Viola manages to escape and Todd gets mad when his dog Manchee is killed by Prentiss and his men. 

The climax of the film happens in the ruins of the old spaceship used by the first colonizers of the new planet. Viola tries to use its transmitter to contact her own colony ship. But Prentiss and his men arrive and they have a final showdown. 

The film’s unusual conceit is that the men in Prentisstown can hear aloud what each other is thinking in a strange phenomenon that they call the Noise. We guess this is effective in the book but on the screen, it is not at all convincing. When Viola gets to Prentisstown, she can also hear the men thinking aloud but Todd cannot hear her own thoughts.

The film has clear potentials about a dystopian future, but the execution for the screen leaves a lot to be desired and you cannot even understand the need for exposing the innermost thoughts of men since it didn’t really help forward the narrative. 

There are occasional flashes of action, but the characters are not fully well developed, so you don’t really sympathize or root for them. 

If this film was better realized and made more expertly, it has the makings of a franchise, but since the way it’s put together is rather messy, it never gets us fully engrossed or invested into its characters. 

There are certainly no hopes for a sequel. Too bad because both Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley both give engaging performances in their respective roles. 

Mads Mikkelsen has a dominant presence as the villainous Prentiss but he seems to be on autopilot and his character is also not convincingly developed to be totally detestable. 

Why did he kill their women, in the first place? 

The movie reminds us of similarly expensive sci-fi costume flicks that are poorly made so they flopped, like “Mortal Instruments”,”Valerian”, “Mortal Engines” and “Jupiter Ascending”.