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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Chaos (2005)

This policier set in Seattle stars three of the least charismatic actors currently available: Ryan Phillippe, Wesley Snipes, and Jason Statham. Phillippe while now well over 30 and making a decent attempt to accept more adult roles (I saw him in the thoroughly depressing "Stop-Loss" (2008) a few days ago playing a soldier who considers defecting, when instead of being demobbed he is told that he is being sent back to Iraq), still manages to come across like a youngster playing with the big boys. Snipes, despite having had a definite presence in the past, particularly in the "Blade" series, has, since his recent tax troubles, only appeared in pretty dismissable rubbish phoning in his roles; I watched him in the Mario von Peebles' "Hard Luck" (2006) a few days ago and can now barely remember it. As for Statham who has appeared in a ridiculous number of action roles since his debut in 2000, his appeal eludes me, probably because I can not relate to his cardboard hero in the 'transporter' movies and the like; now maybe if I were a teenaged boy...



In this film Statham plays a suspended cop whose action in shooting a criminal at a police standoff resulted in the death of an innocent hostage. When a gang raids a bank taking 40 hostages, the ringleader Snipes will only deal with Statham and we are led to believe that he is the brother of the guy Statham has killed and that he is seeking revenge. Phillippe is brought in as the straight-arrow policeman attempting to fill his dead father's shoes who becomes Statham's new partner. Of course little is as it seems as the gang escapes from the bank (without on the surface having taken anything) and as their members are killed. The writer-director attempts to put a philosophical gloss on these dire procedings by trying to tell us the action should be interpreted by studying chaos theory. Whatever! The movie ends with a thoroughly amoral and hardly surprising denouement which has in its way become stereotypically par for the course nowadays. The biggest mystery is why there is no attempt to explain away Statham's thoroughly common South London accent, although that too does not seem to matter to his non-discriminating audience. Just count me out.
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