To be fair, “Chaos Walking” occupies a delicate position in the market and seems to have chosen to practice self-censorship in order to exist. It’s a budgeted $ 100 million sci-fi image: not small, by any means, but also not large by Star Wars or Marvel standards, which regularly goes from $ 250 million to $ 400 million on a single feature. . Maybe the mandate was to grab new audiences with action and romance (potential) and the (relative) power of the Ridley and Holland star, and then dig deeper into the weeds in the next installments. . But what ended up on screen doesn’t quite seem there most of the time, which isn’t a smart way to try and capture people’s imaginations and make them demand sequels. What’s the point of playing it safe if it produces the same result as if you had gone bankrupt?
It’s especially frustrating given that Ridley and Holland deliver superb, unaffected performances as characters we truly care about, in an environment that has been built just enough to keep you focused on the tantalizing unanswered questions that the movie will never do. more than just a glance. Undernourished aspects include the cult of toxic masculinity that Prentiss built and nurtured. His chief sidekick, played by David Oyelowo, is a fire killer who internalized everything the High Priest taught him, becoming a radical revolutionary who already thinks he would make a better leader of men. Mikkelsen’s approach to his subscribed character is fascinating, as is often the case with this performer. Spending most of the filming time on horseback, wearing a long, lush fur coat and a soft-brimmed hat that channels all of the decadent fops Marlon Brando played after middle age, and delivering his lines in a jumpsuit. Euro-cadence purr and frontier drawl, it’s still perched on the hammer edge. But it’s impossible to deny that somehow, mysteriously, like Lebowski’s rug, it ties it all together.
Kudos to Liman and his collaborators (including a sound team of over three dozen people) for showing us something we haven’t exactly seen before, aside from a few wandering scenes or sequences of telepathic horror. or superhero images where the main characters have to learn to selectively filter the data that their very advanced senses / brains crave. “Chaos Walking” plunges the viewer into a different kind of cinematic headspace, creating a film that gradually teaches viewers to watch it. It takes some time to get used to the way these characters interact – especially the way they protect their thoughts from others by repeating neutral words and phrases like mantras – and how their hidden or revealed thoughts are visualized in the halos around their head.
But once you’re immersed, it’s a powerful experience that lingers in your mind long after the movie’s many disappointments have started to wear off. How can one person last even an hour in a world like this without going mad or making another want to kill them? To quote Bob Dylan’s “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”, “… If my dream-thoughts could be seen / You’d put my head in a guillotine.”