Based on Patrick Ness’s YA trilogy, Chaos Walking is a science fiction western set on a colonized planet where men's thoughts can be heard by others. That's an intriguing premise for a genre film, and Ness, co-screenwriter Christopher Ford, and director Doug Liman visualize it intriguingly, with characters' thoughts and feelings spinning around their heads in a purple-blue, wreath-like mist reminiscent of scientists' replica of how airborne infections spread. When viewed from a distance, every character with this disease resembles a mood ring. There are photos of enraged mobs with their negative thoughts pulsing. Individual ideas are also heard in fragments of voice-over narration, popping in and out of dialogues like an anxious comic book character's thought balloons. All of this is referred to as "Noise."
When it comes to confrontations, the film slacks off, investing more effort into the creation of the New World than the rather generic humans who populate it. That is also true of the “alien” ones, despite the fact that legally, this planet belongs to the Spackle and the humans are the invaders.“Chaos Walking” depicts only one interaction with this local species, whose ugly design makes one wonder how “Avatar” would have fared if the Navi were shown as unappealing tree-monsters rather than enticing blue cat-creatures.
The visualization of thoughts is well-realized and charming to watch, initially feeling a little like a pointless exposition but soon settling into a useful plot device. We are given hints about characters' histories in a way that feels organic, and at times the noise is used as a weapon as well as a hindrance.
Chaos Walking is not without its flaws, we are introduced to an alien species, but this never really goes anywhere. All of the genuine conflicts are against other humans, and since this appears unlikely to get the sequels it was intended to get, the entrance of the aliens feels like a useless segue. The ending is anticlimactic, and again a lot of time is spent building a world rather than building a plot. This film is weaker for the fact that it is unlikely to get its sequels.
However, the acting was fantastic. Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland were outstanding in their roles and kept the story engaging and entertaining from start to finish. The visuals of the movie were also great. The Noise was one of the most fascinating aspects of the movie and added to the humor and drama of the story.
Chaos Walking isn't just one type of movie. It's a sci-fi, drama, thriller, and western all rolled into one. Chaos Walking's various flavors contribute significantly to making it a well-rounded, innovative, and original film.
Final Score – [6/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)
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