Chain Reaction (1996) – Review

1 1/2 Stars

Chain Reaction is one of the dullest action movies in memory. Teaming the director of The Fugitive with the star of Speed seemed like a promising idea. The final product is a confused, boring, retreat of better movies. Lacking the taunt thrills and sensational action of either of those previously mentioned films.

A student machinist (Keanu Reeves) at a Chicago University finds himself the target of a mass manhunt after learning of a government cover-up. Eddie Kasalivich (Reeves) and his colleague Lily Sinclair (Rachel Weisz) are part of a team of scientist who have developed a revolutionary new source of energy. But overnight, their lab is destroyed and the head of their department killed. Named as the main suspects. Eddie and Lily seek the help of a mysterious bureaucrat (Morgan Freeman) who may or not be an ally.

Chain Reaction wants to position itself as an intellectual thriller with big action set pieces. However, the action is never presented in a way that is exciting or enjoyable, it’s just perfunctory. I’m no scientist, but the way in which these students stumble upon the recipe for clean energy is a bit hard to swallow. As a plot device they could have used a more clever McGuffin. Chain Reaction is a major let down from a director I greatly admire and a movie star I enjoy seeing on-screen. A missed opportunity.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Morgan Freeman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *