Who can steer away from another YA novel film adaptation, especially when working with the likes of Spider-Man, and Ray from "Star Wars"! Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley are what brought us to the world of Doug Liman's "Chaos Walking," where every man's thoughts are heard aloud and referred to as "the noise."
In this sci-fi adventure based on "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness, Todd Hewitt (Holland) has his life in New World (Earth-like alien planet) upended when Viola (Ridley), the first woman he has seen in his life, arrives via crash landing spaceship. In order for Viola to return home she must send a message to her ship, and Todd enlists himself as her guide away from his community.
What follows is a journey through forests, evading pursuits from The Mayor (Mads Mikkelsen), and rushing to get Viola to somewhere she can send a distress signal. Additional performances from David Oyelowo, Cynthia Erivo and Nick Jonas make for a talented roster of actors contributing to this world.
When introduced to the noise, it is something Todd is working on handling, so that the wrong person doesn't hear something they aren't meant to. Communication becomes as open as possible between men when their noise is uncontrolled and their thoughts run unfiltered. This has its consequences, and specifically makes it difficult for Todd to keep anything buried in his head. The most creative use of this ability is when thoughts are visualized and projected into the real world, making for an exciting interjectory snake or flames like those that surround Oyelowo's preacher character.
Now here is something tired that I recognized between the characters of Viola and Todd. The story sends these two off together, and while it can be reasoned that Todd is altruistic, it seems like the only reason he is helping Viola is because she is the first woman he's met and he begins feeling attracted to her. In a community of exclusively male counterparts it made the pairing so forced. The first woman Todd meets he immediately needs to see himself with. It reduced Viola's dimensionality further, because what we get from her end is limited and now reduced to male's love interest. That being said I liked the independence that Viola keeps because of her upgraded tech which Todd admires, and she can get herself out of a situation all too well without his assistance.
That point can be extended into the New World as well. When we are introduced to Todd in the first scene, we meet new creatures that inhabit the planet, but that doesn't carry for the full runtime of this movie. The new world, for the most part, is much like the forestry parts of our own, save for an alien encampment or two and the occasional excavated spaceship.
"Chaos Walking" has stars to keep you invested, but a story that delivers the basics, boy thinks out loud, boy meets girl, girl needs to get home, and they're going to do it together.
"Chaos Walking" releases in theaters on March 5, 2021.
Chaos Walking Trailer #1 (2021) | Movieclips Trailers www.youtube.com
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