As far as Jason Statham movies go, Chaos is far from one of his more popular works. Released in 2005 in extremely limited release, the film eventually saw home video distribution via Lionsgate, who already has quite the love affair going with Statham movies. While the film laid relatively low over the years, Lionsgate is no doubt hoping that Statham’s further exposure with such films as the Transporter and Crank series will drive sales of the films Blu-ray debut.
In Seattle, Detective Quentin Conners (Statham) is unfairly suspended and his partner quits the force after a tragic shooting involving a hostage. When a bank heist turns into another hostage situation, Conners is called back to duty and assigned a new partner, rookie Shane Dekker (Phillippe). When the robbers, led by Lorenz (Snipes), escape the scene with no cash in hand, the detectives soon learn that a virus was planted in the bank’s computer system. The virus removes one billion dollars from various private accounts, using the principle of the Chaos Theory. Now, the race is on to find Lorenz and the rest of his crew before it’s too late.
The plot to this film is set up to be something overly clever and something that you won’t see coming. All of the misleading efforts and elements are cute at first but ultimately become nothing short of annoying as you realize it’s just like every other “big con” film. This is a shame as Statham’s films can be quite enjoyable in of themselves, even if they are almost always pure popcorn fluff, but this film especially feels just…half-assed. Action is dull, the action is quite unexciting (Statham’s “American” accent is especially laughable) and there just generally isn’t anything here you haven’t seen in his films that was done bigger and louder.
Chaos certainly manages to entertain a bit, at least, with the daring bank heist early in the film, but when things start to unfold and everyone ends up dead, it’s a hard film to swallow. Statham’s eventual death and revelation that he’s been in on the entire thing is hardly shocking and even though it may not be something you saw coming, it also isn’t something you really cared about. He wasn’t even likeable in this film and despite being “unfairly suspended” as the synopsis above states you never feel sympathy for the character. It’s just something about the way Statham acts that he never comes across as genuine, even in films where he’s playing a good guy (The Bank Job comes to mind).
The rest of the cast is similarly boring; Phillippe is something I’ve always found enjoyable enough but here he’s a third wheel to the “bigger” stars like Wesley Snipes, who even manages to fail to impress. It’s just a really poor film all around and while I can see the appeal of it from an action film lover standpoint, the whole thing just ends up leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Half-way into the film I was disinterested and when the “twists” started to pile up, my desire to finish the film waned even further.
I honestly hoped this was a kind of sleeper Statham hit that no one really talked about, as I do enjoy his work from time to time…but this is about as big of a waste of time as Transporter 3 was. It also comes off as a “paycheck time!” film because it seemed as if no one’s heart was really into this. A real shame, but not entirely unsurprising…I guess that’s why there was so little promotion and limited theatrical run for this film.
Overall a film that you can easily Skip. Maybe a rental if you’re a Statham fan, but this is one of his least exciting films I’ve seen, so you aren’t missing much if you haven’t seen it.
After reviewing The Ninth Gate, which this Chaos Blu-ray was released alongside of, I had hopes that the other two films that it released with wouldn’t provide the same disappointing results when it came to the Blu-ray. Guess what? So far things aren’t looking good. Chaos arrives in an Eco Elite Blu-ray case and a decent menu system, but little else.
Video is an AVC encoded effort that…I’ll be honest. In the interrogation scenes in particular it looked like a movie theater bootleg. Not just the shaky cam but the out of focus and washed out colors just left a lot to be desired. There was no detail in the image and I struggled to find instances in which there was something underneath the blandness, but I rarely found anything. There were a few instances where a solid level of detail was present but for the most part the films dark color palette never played in its favor.
I was also very unimpressed with the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which, like The Ninth Gate was very distant; I had to turn the volume way up which caused LFE output to be a little obnoxious. Surrounds were chatty occasionally, but overall it’s just a very unexciting video and audio transfer. It certainly didn’t help my enjoyment of the film, that’s for sure.
Commentary with Director Tony Giglio
The Order Behind the Chaos Featurette (12:21, SD)
And…yup, that’s it. Nothing new here, but nothing left off from the previous DVD release either. The commentary is a bit bland and has the occasional awkward moment or dry spot, but that’s par for the course when it comes to this film. The featurette is throw-a-way and nothing special.
Honestly I’m more disappointed by the Blu-ray portion of this release than anything. I found the detail on the transfer to be severely lacking and the audio was a disappointment as well. But, then again, what about this film wasn’t? Skip It.
Chaos is now available on Blu-ray.