Chain Reaction (1996) Film Review

Rating 12
Length 1h47
Release 19.10.1990
Director Andrew Davis
About When a high profile scientist at the University of Chicago is murdered, Eddie, an undergraduate, and physicist Lily are framed and accused of stealing an innovative alternative fuel formula.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Disney Plus

The Good

  • This is how I like my Keanu; floppy haired and quipping. He’s a joy to watch in this because his character actually has a personality. This is much closer to his performance in Speed than Matrix. (Also, whoever put the ‘trivia’ about Reeves gaining weight, fuck you. I did not notice any difference aside from what looked like a lot of layers to protect from the cold)
  • I loved seeing the double act of Fred Ward and Kevin Dunn. Love both of them in everything they’ve been in so to have them play off each other is a treat.
  • It has all the makings of a good thriller and enough action set pieces to keep most entertained. With elements akin to The Fugitive and Enemy of the State, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve seen this all before. Especially given the overlap of characters.
  • The cherry on the top is the addition of both Morgan Freeman and Brian Cox in fairly predictable roles.

The Bad

  • Joanna Cassidy is completely wasted in her role as a safe haven McGuffin that isn’t really embedded enough to feel like anything other than superficial. Ever the chameleon, she takes on a role that could have been fleshed out and add depth to the middle third of the plot.

The Ugly

  • Rachel Weisz. Sorry, but she was appalling. Once the shit hit the fan, she was nothing more than a prop. Weisz’s portrayal is nothing more than nails on a chalk board. Worse of all, there is zero chemistry between herself and Reeves. Knowing that someone saw this and thought putting them together again almost ten years later is mind blowing.
    She’s meant to be a Brainiac, one that Reeves’ Eddie intones ‘woah’ upon seeing her wall of certificates. Yet she is a limp and voiceless block of Kristen Stewart when they arrive at the house all cold. Come on, develop the fucking character. Have her telling him what they both need to do. Don’t have him mothering her. Fuck sake, she’s a rarity in her field, never been ‘drunk’ before the events of this movie; I don’t buy her as a damsel. Give me badass, you cowards. Or yeet her out the god damn script.

Final Thoughts

Bit too heavy on the science and tech for me to just switch off and enjoy the ride. I had questions, my geek brain was piqued but the film did not provide the answers.

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