There’s only one thing worse than climbing into bed after a hard days work and finding a pair of smelly socks mid-way down the quilt – turning up to a movie set where the seat next to yours is marked ‘Wesley Snipes’.

Jason Statham, Ryan Phillippe, Wesley Snipes, Justine Waddell, Henry Czerny, Nicholas Lea, Natassia Malthe, Keegan Connor Tracy

There’s only one thing worse than climbing into bed after a hard days work and finding a pair of smelly socks mid-way down the quilt – turning up to a movie set where the seat next to yours is marked ‘Wesley Snipes’. Yep, it wasn’t just the passengers on the Titanic that know that ‘sinking feeling’ – when actors Jason Statham and Ryan Phillippe walked onto the set of the wearisomely bad “Chaos”, they would’ve had to have known they’d just booked a seat on a sinking tug. How could they not? Not with captain direct-to-video eating from the same catering truck?

Let’s look at the facts:
1. Wesley Snipes – Only ever features in theatrical releases donning plastic fangs. Otherwise, he’s delegated a spot at the bottom of the video shelf. In short, he’s big time box office poison. Sure, he use to be good – but these days, he’s about as appealing as watching a two-bit circus under a stuffy big top in Summer.
2. A script with more twists in it than orange coloured cheesy poofs – It would be OK if they were good twists, but when they’re the ‘seen ‘em coming from a mile away’ variety, you just know something hasn’t been baked right through. Snore.
3. The fact that said script is no more than a rip-off of “Superman III”, and for that matter, comedy classic “Office Space”. Fans of both will know exactly what I’m referring to. Old-hat indeed.
4. Did we mention Wesley Snipes?

Here’s the gist of that over-complicated and uninvolving script – seriously, you’ll be tempted to walk out halfway through it is so dull – a couple of coppers (Statham, the grizzled, suspended veteran and Phillippe, the quick rookie) are on the hunt for a super-intelligent bank robber (Snipes) who seems to be playing an intricate game with them – which he’s borrowed from Edward Lorenz’s Chaos Theory.

Like a dumb man pretending to be smart, “Chaos” comes across as too try-hard, too ambitious and too self-satisfied to be taken seriously, let alone enjoy. Seriously, did a 14-year-old write it? For a start – I mean, Wesley Snipes? Who else, besides a teenage fan of the “Blade” films, would cast the guy in their movie? And the script? Any half-apt writer knows that this one’s been done a million times – even recently, with the entertaining “Inside Man”. OK, maybe in 1984 the twists and turns of “Chaos” might’ve worked, but it just doesn’t now – not with all the good writers, good stories – heck, unique stories – out there. The plots of some of the direct-to-video actioners out there are better. Maybe even – dare I say – some of Snipes’ direct-to-video actioners.

As for the casting of Snipes – you can kind of see why he’s in the film. He does nothing. He’s obviously been cast as the token bad guy – who only has a handful of scenes – because someone believes it is better to cast a ‘sorta name’ than cast an absolute no name in the part (but is it?). It proves just how low – and desperate – the “Blade” star has got, when he’ll say yes to a role that offers little screen time, little character and offers him next to nothing to do. Nino Brown this guy is not.

As for the usually very-entertaining Jason Statham – who absolutely rocks in the “Transpoter” movies – he’s totally wasted. He’s got even less to do than Snipes, and he’s the one we want to see! As for Ryan Phillippe? He looks lost in the woods. The kid – who is actually one of the most talented actors of his generation – doesn’t know what he’s signed up to do. Thankfully with his role in the Oscar Winner “Crash”, he mightn’t have to do too many more of these things.

If it’s sleep you need to catch up on, “Chaos” it is.

Reviewer: Clint Morris


Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole. Loves David Lynch, David Fincher... actually, any filmmaker by the name of David.

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