Review: ‘Chaos Walking’ presents disaster movie viewers can’t look away from


Image credit to Lionsgate Enterprise

In the graphic created by senior Maddie Moats, she transports herself to the film-adapted world of “Chaos Walking” as she reads the original book. In this review of “Chaos Walking,” starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, writers Grace Williamson and Moats give their opinions with a satirical twist. Although the adaptation of Patrick Ness’s novel received mixed reviews from the critics, Williamson and Moats suggest viewers give the movie a chance.

Writer’s note: while this review contains no major spoilers, it is intended to be a satirical read about a movie the reviewers really do think you should see – despite what the critics say.

Chaos Walking,” or should I say chaos watching, premiered March 5 of this year. Starring Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen and … Nick … Jonas, this movie follows a young man in a post-apocalyptic alien world as he fights to save a space girl. In this world, main character Todd Hewitt has grown up to believe that all the women were killed by the native alien species,  and all that is left of the humans is a small village of men. Did I mention that as a side-effect of this new world, men have magical protruding consciences that display their thoughts to those around them? This special trait is gender-specific, as women do not suffer from protruding thoughts, referred to as “the noise” throughout the movie. We learn this from the crash-landed space girl, Viola, who all the village men immediately target for being a woman.

Firstly, Disney star Nick Jonas is credited with a starring role in this movie. With a combined total of four lines, his show-stopping appearance as the mayor’s son really wowed audiences nationwide. Although I cannot say with certainty the purpose or backstory of his character, he was definitely there.

Throughout the movie, there is no shortage of animal abuse, specifically directed at horses. What sane person jumps a horse off a cliff, or even better, into a waterfall of white water rapids???!! While Todd acted humanely after breaking his horse’s leg, I don’t think it was necessary to show him knifing the poor thing in the neck. And what blockbuster movie would be complete without man’s beloved best friend, a cute little dog? Viewers could interpret this as an homage to “Marley and Me.”

While the abundance of plot holes may seem to put the movie 6 feet under, its saving grace was my inability to tear my eyes from the screen.

— Grace Williamson

While he wasn’t the main antagonist, the Preacher surely deserves a trophy for “Creepiest and Most Ambiguous Villain. Ever.” He appears randomly throughout the film to muck up drama, confusion and heartbreak. While his backstory is largely unknown, we do know from his “noise” that his motivations are sprinkled with religion and misogyny. According to Todd, the preacher believes that women do not have thoughts (noise) because they have no soul, which I think is his most endearing trait. Played by David Oyelowo, this moral juxtaposition as a preacher and a villain was on fire for audiences to see.

With a quick glance at the cast list, one may realize that Chaos Walking definitely fails the Bechdel test. However, I am under the impression that this was the director’s intent. Despite a severe underrepresentation of women, this movie shows how, even in a world full of men, you can’t stop a “#GirlBoss” from prevailing. Viola physically takes down not only one but two men, showing young, impressionable girls everywhere that they, too, can kick butt. But seriously, I am thankful that this didn’t turn into another one-dimensional teen dystopian romance (yet).

A simple Google search will show the harsh 20% rating that Rotten Tomato critics sentenced to this film. However, this gives “Chaos Walking” a bad rep as actual audiences (people just like you and me), scored the movie 73%. While the abundance of plot holes may seem to put the movie 6 feet under, its saving grace was my inability to tear my eyes from the screen. Old snobby film critics just don’t get it. This movie met its goal: to entertain the hard-to-please teenage generation. Viewers can expect to be left with tears of sorrow, laughter and confusion, but don’t get me wrong – you’ll definitely enjoy the movie. Overall, “Chaos Walking” is the perfect 2021 tacky-teen sci-fi movie, sure to leave its audience longing for its necessary sequel.