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Chain Reaction (a movie review)

Chain Reaction can refer to a few movies, so to clarify the situation, we’re gonna talk about 1996 movie starring Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz and Morgan Freeman. And it took me a while to get it on DVD! At least, for a decent price, you know…but, luckily, I’ve found a 3-movie pack (along with Johny Mnemonic and Point Break, so, yay…happy days!)

Well, of course, I’ve known about the movie since it had been released, but I didn’t think of watching it before and as time went by, I’ve even forgotten such a movie existed in the first place. Talk about priorities, haha.

But then I’ve got that joblot of DVDs with Steven Seagal’s movies and researching Seagal’s debut movie Above the Law (I still need to return to it and write the review, because you haven’t read about it about a thousand times already) I’ve come upon the name of the director, and that’s one Andrew Davis. And who’s the director of Chain Reaction? Yes, I knew you were clever!

Director Andrew Davis

And so I’ve remembered…yes, I wanted to see Chain Reaction! Obviously, the biggest draw is Neo…err, John Wick…dammit..Keanu Reeves himself, but obviously, with Morgan Freeman in the cast you basically can’t go wrong…and there are a few other nice actors here, but these two are the most known, I’d say.

Anyway, let’s see what’s in here for us, the movie lovers. As many other reviewers have pointed out, the plot is basically a rehash of 1993 movie The Fugitive (starring Harrison Ford), which has been directed by whom? Well, Andrew Davis. Now, it’s really hard to say what has contributed to the similarity of the scripts, but I’d bet my money on the classic exploitation – let’s copy something successfully earning money. And why not? In the end of the day, people need to earn their daily bread and don’t pretend they are in the movie business for the urge of creating a high art.

But I am not here to pontificate about this, I am here to tell you about the movie. So yeah, it’s a basic concept of the crime being commited and the frame-up of the innocent folks. Yep, it has “The Fugitive” formula all over.

The stakes are high here, as the group of scientists is working on a cold fusion technology, which allows for a normal water to be converted to fuel (or something like that, I have basically no knowledge of chemistry), but even to an average person on the street the consequences are clear. Free energy! No more extraorbitant costs for transportation!

Well yes, however… not everyone is happy with this. It reminds me a little of Nikola Tesla’s story and his concept of the free energy, but you know, if you can’t make profit from something, it’s of no interest to the powers that be (whoever and whatever they might be). And so the technology needs to be made secret and those in the know – silenced. And because we’re dealing with CIA guys, we all know what that means. And it goes exactly like you would guess.

Keanu Reeves as Eddie Kasalivich

Keanu Reeves plays Eddie Kasalivich, the young mechanic working on the above mentioned project with Dr. Lily Sinclair (Rachel Weisz), Dr. Alistair Barkley, Lu Chen and others. And there’s Paul Shannon (Morgan Freeman), who’s bankrolling the project.

Rachel Weisz as Dr. Lily Sinclair

And not so long after the successful completion of the experiment the lab is blown up, Dr. Barkley murdered and Lu Chen missing. Who’s here to blame? Yep, you’ve guessed it – Eddie and Lilly.

Morgan Freeman as Paul Shannon

Those two are now the objects of the nationwide manhunt by the FBI, the investigation is led by the FBI agent Leon Ford (Fred Ward) – and it’s really nice to see not only the perserverance of those, but also thinking outside the box (like why would a suspect have 250k hidden under the sink where you would suppose FBI would have found it), but they are also in the scope of CIA sub-contractors, whose head is Paul Shannon and, let’s face it, you won’t stand much chance against guys like those, Dr. Sinclair is caught and kidnapped to a secret research facility. Eddie follows, because that’s what you need to do, period.

You know how this all ends, don’t you? Sort of a happyend (if you persist to the end, you’ll get what I mean). But our duo is re-united, acquitted…so, hooray!

The verdict is easy to achieve, if you’ve liked the aforementioned The Fugitive, and you don’t mind a little repeat, then Chain Reaction will satisfy a nice movie night craving. At least, for me it did, and I have to say, lately I’ve had a little problem keeping my focus on the TV screen, being constantly distracted, so as a quality mark, I haven’t had that problem with this movie. Satisfied?

Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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