Chaos (2005) [Blu-ray]
|Genre(s): Action / Crime / Thriller|
|Lions Gate || R - 106 minutes - $19.99 || August 11, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-08-01|
Writer(s): Tony Giglio (written by)
Cast: Jason Statham, Ryan Phillippe, Wesley Snipes, Henry Czerny
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Chaos is a film that had been making the rounds around the world since 2005 and 2006 but didn’t make its U.S. debut until 2008 on DVD. I can’t say the movie didn’t deserve to remain in cinematic limbo like it did with the kind of cast it has, but it’s actually not that bad of a movie, despite issues especially going into the third act.
The movie stars Jason Statham as Quentin Conners, who is reinstated as a Seattle Police Detective after a gang leader, Lorenz (Wesley Snipes), holding hostages at a bank requests to only speak with him. He is given the opportunity by his captain (Henry Czemy) on the condition he allows rookie Detective Shane Dekker (Ryan Phillippe) to tag along.
When the SWAT team is ambushed, the robbers somehow make a getaway but with what? After closely examining the crime scene and bank footage, Conners and Dekker determine that no cash was stolen and there was nothing in the safe deposit boxes the robbers had targeted either. They discover something else is going on, possibly connected with an incident that happened months earlier involving Conners and the death of a hostage.
Honestly, Chaos isn’t that special of a film and really not that innovative from its storytelling to a pedestrian chase scene and finally a twist anyone can see coming five miles away, something that took the sting out of the third act in an otherwise decent crime thriller.
Although Jason Statham gets top billing, it is Ryan Phillippe who shines. It’s not a particularly noteworthy performance but one that is good enough to carry the film through thick and thin. Other than his turn in the Oscar winning film Crash (I thought he did a fine job in the 1999 ensemble drama, Playing by Heart), Phillippe hasn’t done much with his career which is a shame as he can shine when the role and script is right.
The supporting cast gives standard performances. Wesley Snipes once again sleepwalks through a small role as the main bad guy in yet another direct-to-video flick while one of my personal favorite supporting actors, Henry Czemy, has little impact except for being the typical asshole chief/captain/obstacle toward the main character(s).
Chaos was written and directed by Tony Giglio who previously served as a production assistant on many high profile films in the 90s (Liar Liar, Dante’s Peak and Fear) before moving on to writing and directing. For the most part, there’s not that much style outside of a cool coloring effect during the limited flashback sequences. But with maybe a couple rewrites and a more experienced director, this film could’ve been something memorable instead of direct-to-video fodder.
Not much in terms of features, just a standard commentary track with writer/director Tony Giglio and “The Order Behind Chaos” Featurette (12:21). And there is also a bookmark **Blu-ray Exclusive** feature.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Chaos is presented with a 2.35 aspect ratio and after already being released on DVD in 2008 Lionsgate has given it a new 1080p high-def transfer. The picture doesn’t look bad and other than an occasional notice of dust marks here and there, it looks clear enough even with some graininess during darker scenes. Detail levels on forefront objects look fine though background ones could’ve been better. Overall, this isn’t going to blow your mind but all things considered, it’s not bad.
Per the studio’s norm, the Blu-ray comes equipped with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Like the video, I wasn’t overwhelmed with its awesomeness even with 7 channels. It’s one of those “good enough” tracks with clear dialogue intermingled with the action scenes throughout which were fairly low on the rear channels.
Chaos doesn’t break new ground in the crime thriller genre and even though it does fall apart by the third act using up any momentum developed beforehand, I still found it to be an entertaining flick with a good performance out of Ryan Phillippe. The Blu-ray boasts a decent audio and video transfer but the features are lacking so even if you did like the film and own the DVD, hold off and wait for the Blu-ray to go on sale ($10 range within a couple months I’d imagine).