Chain Reaction

I'm not even going to type out this tagline. It's at the bottom of the picture, and it's really lame.

Who makes that face when they run?

Oh yeah, that's right, I'm starting off this week's pair of posts with this little gem from the 90s. Chain Reaction, starring Keanu Reeves as *snrk* a scientist! Not just any scientist boys and girls, this guy has discovered how to somehow use water to create free clean sustainable energy. Now I say somehow here because the movie never tells you shit about what the hell sort of machine they've created. What it looks to be is a pressure cooker, that uses electricity to create explosions. Somehow. Is it hot fusion? Cold fusion? They keep talking about frequencies. Are they attaching a radio to a boiling pot of water so they can power the world? A scientist claims at the outset that they have the means to power Chicago for weeks with a glass of water. Apparently their machine extracts the hydrogen from water, creating energy (?) and then the only residue created... is water? I'm not a really great chemist, but if you take the hydrogen out of water, I think what you have left is oxygen.

Now it isn't unusual for a movie to use questionable science as a premise, but my problem here is that the pseudo-science is at the center of the plot, and they don't bother to explain AT ALL. They just have this thing, which I'm not sure how it's going to solve the energy crisis, because all it seems capable of doing is blowing up. Keanu solves their 'frequency problem' so that now it works. Then everyone is blown up, and he's framed up for it, along with Rachel Weisz, who I swear I'm not picking on (she apparently just makes a lot of questionable role choices). So now Keanu and  Rachel are on the run from the cops, who think that Keanu blew up a whole bunch of people and shot a cop, and also the conspirators who are CIA or something?

Honestly they don't really specify that either, they're just big brother plotting to kill them. Why is that? Well apparently this great water tech is going to somehow destroy big oil and the economy overnight, which is almost as ridiculous as Keanu as a scientist, because it isn't like magically this technology would suddenly be instituted and installed in every power plant car, or other gas powered object on the Earth.
Yes, this is the Janitor from Scrubs.

So how is the writing on the rest of the movie? It is equally as bad as the basic premise of the movie. The script is complete garbage and occasionally while rewatching this gem I picked out a line that just made me stop and go "what?" ("Some cowboy's gone off the reservation" You know that old saying...?) There is surprisingly little non-sense jargon talk, because as mentioned above they don't even ever pretend to explain their magic water machine. Beyond that the plot is muddled in a way that you can barely believe, given that the premise is so cliched. The whole 'dude framed for crime by evil government' angle had been long played out. Hell it says right on the poster, that this movie was directed by the same person as The Fugitive (I might add that Neil Flynn, pictured above, was a cop chasing the framed guy in that movie as well, they pretty much recycled the whole set up). Wherever they aren't recycling old plot, they weave a tangled web of doesn't make any goddamned sense, with a absolutely tepid interplay between Morgan Freeman, playing against type as the sinister G man, and Brian Cox, who is essentially the same character he plays in the second X-Men movie (you know, Stryker, the stupid douche?).

She has to watch Chain Reaction over and over.
 The movie goes through the motions but it feels really phoned in from a writing perspective, even for a 90s action movie. There is one scene in particular where the FBI figure out where Keanu is using a pay phone, and then literally ten seconds later there are cops swarming the scene. This is obviously an alternate America where they have those creepy psychics from Minority Report. The movie is full of pointless chases and also a totally ridiculous fight scene against a nameless thug right at the end. Why would this guy be fighting Keanu when he should be running with them to try and no get blown up? I'm really trying to figure out his motivation there. The music is equally awful. It sounds suspiciously like they lifted the soundtrack straight out of True Lies actually, and it is really intrusive in basically every scene of the movie. 

In the end this movie does nothing well, and a lot of things really badly. I would barely even consider the primary conflict of the movie resolved. Yes Keanu is acquitted of any guilt, and they spread the plans for their water machine to a bunch of scientists, but Morgan Freeman's bad guy character is still at large, makin' schemes. In short, this movie was a comically bad piece of crap, and I rank it in the top 5 for worst misuses of Morgan Freeman. Worse yet, this goes into the category of movies that suck but somehow grossed well in theaters. That's right, this made someone money. 
Wanted is definitely in the top 5.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Project Wonderful Ad