Chaos (2006) / Thriller-Action

MPAA Rated: R for violence and language
Running Time: 98 min.

Cast: Jason Statham, Ryan Phillippe, Wesley Snipes, Henry Czerny, Justine Waddell, John Cassini
Director: Tony Giglio
Screenplay: Tony Giglio
Review published April 11, 2006

Jason Statham (Revolver, Transporter 2) stars as shady cop Quentin Conners, who has recently survived an in-depth investigation of his activities on the beat when he an his partner end up killing a hostage in order to get to an armed suspect.  After a well-publicized trial, he gets off while his partner does not.  His new partner is a green recruit named Shane Dekker (Phillippe, Crash), a clean-cut and smart officer that finds Connersí ways a bit uneasy.  Their first assignment together is to try to get to the bottom of what group is responsible for a high-tech bank heist where, ostensibly, no money is stolen, and the perpetrators all get away without a trace.  The head of the robbers is played by Wesley Snipes (Blade: Trinity, Undisputed), who specifically requests Conners to be on the case so that he can play a cat-and-mouse game that can only end with deadly results.

Just one day after seeing a very savvy bank heist thriller where no money is taken and the person committing the crime has ulterior motives involved (Inside Man), I was privy to a film that shares a similar premise.  Thereís quite a lot of contrast otherwise, as Chaos is nothing more than a very routine heist actioner mixed with a conventional corrupt cop drama, offering up nothing remotely interesting to anyone not a cop genre purist.  Even on its own terms, thereís nothing here you havenít seen before, and though it does benefit from an interesting cast of main players, thereís not much for them to do except to go through predictable motions to its inevitable twist conclusion.

The only real hook in the film comes through the introduction of some gobbledygook that the events of the movie tie in to the Chaos Theory, whereby Dekker uses Buddhist teachings and the chaos theory to get to the bottom of the case.  While this does punch up some of the dialogue through the occasionally interesting discussions, not much is really made of it.  It doesnít help that most audiences will be about two steps ahead of just who Snipesí character really is (a red herring is thrown in, but never pans out).  There is a final twist to the story, but by that time, youíre unlikely to care about these wafer-thin characters and their silly shenanigans enough to be truly impressed.

This is glossy, empty entertainment strictly for fans of the stars and for those that arenít looking for anything out of the ordinary.  Despite the fact that Chaos was made about a year before, Inside Manís release practically negates any potential current interest for anyone attracted to the subject matter.  Chaos is not nearly as smart writer/director Giglio thinks it is, and what's worse, audiences arenít as dumb as he thinks they must be either.

Qwipster's rating:

©2006 Vince Leo