Ladies, imagine a world where men’s unfiltered thoughts and feelings are constantly on display. You can hear them. And you can even see them, swirling about their heads in a purplish haze of something you’d wish was weed-smoke.
So then you wouldn’t need to ask them what they were smoking in order to partake of it.
After a few optical puffs, Taraji P. Henson wouldn’t be the only chick high on knowing “What Men Want”.
At any rate, “Chaos Walking” is a science fiction film which offers such access to a man’s innermost thoughts and feelings. But, as Taraji discovered, such access is a gift as well as a curse.
Especially when a man can’t get the girl of his dreams out of his head, and she can see his pickup lines before they drop. This immediately takes the thrill out of the chase and thereby pulls the player out of the race.
There’s a name for such amplified inner thoughts, it’s referred to as “Noise.”
At the beginning of this movie there’s a helpful quote; “The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”
Badum tish! (That’s the sound of drumroll, by the by.)
“Chaos Walking” takes place in 2267 AD. Earthlings have left their messed up world to find new worlds and so here we are:
Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) is a teenage son of a farmer (Demian Bechir) in a small village called Prentisstown, located on a backwater planet.
This is a planet so full of testosterone that Todd has never seen a woman before. Primarily because there are no women on the planet, but also because when Holland starred in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” he used up all Todd’s would-be swag.
Not that being a superhero would help on this planet, the indigenous population is said to have killed all the womenfolk (including Todd’s mother); and there can’t be superheroes without damsels in distress, right?
Oh yes, the women were all killed during a war spun out of control by a web of deceit that may well have come out of Spider-Man’s web-shooters gone rogue.
Anyway, the village has a mayor called Mayor David Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen); yeah you gotta call him “mayor” every time you say his name. Or what happened to all the women, might happen to you.
The Mayor has built an army of male followers who would follow him to the ends of Twitter (if only this planet had internet).
The men who follow him derive their strength from “The Noise” swirling around their heads, which continuously reminds them to man-up and never “act like a woman”.
Daisy Ridley’s character Viola Eade (hurray: a woman!) lands in this macho society when her spacecraft crashes in the woods outside of Todd’s village.
Sadly, she’s the sole survivor of that crash and so owns propriety rights to the only vagina in the initial stages of this movie.
Todd finds her and proves why he’s still a virgin as he crash-lands for her like he’s the spacecraft she rode in on.
In the process, he basically makes a fool of himself as his “Noise” reveals his every desire for her as she returns the compliment by brother-zoning him.
After beating off his semi-incestuous advances with a stick, Viola makes use of Todd as a guide to help her find a transmitter left over from a previous mission, which will enable her to call for help and escape this land of noisy penises.
All told, “Chaos Walking” seems to be in a hurry to get Viola to safety; being blonde she can’t be expected to save herself before the movie comes crashing to a halt…as it does, several times. All thanks to its halting plot and inchoate character development.
In the movie’s heated rush, it fails to develop its backstory of an indigenous race of humanoids who had the crap beaten out of them by humans.
This left the humans burdened with feelings of guilt or remorse expressed by audible/visible thoughts (the ubiquitous “Noise”).
Well, I think it was either guilt or something else that caused them to have their inner selves on display.
It couldn’t have been love though, because Roxette’s song “It Must Have Been Love” doesn’t seem to feature in any of the village’s non-existent music outlets.
At first, the visual feelings and thoughts of the men will really mess with your viewing as they’re splashed upon the grey canvas of this movie’s boring scenes like so much purple rain.
Then, slowly, you will manage to subconsciously extricate how the characters interact from the thoughts swirling about them like purple halos testing your otherwise saintly patience.
And that’s when the real fun begins.