Reviewed by: Marcus Mann
What would happen if a new source of cheap, clean, limitless energy were invented to replace fossil fuels? How far would people go to control this new technology?
In “Chain Reaction,” a University of Chicago research team achieves this amazing goal. After years of work, they have discovered a simple and nearly infinitely powerful way to produce energy from the most common thing on Earth—water. Research scientist Alistair Barkley wants to give the information freely to all nations. Others insist on keeping the research secret and will go to any length to supress the news. Naturally then, Barkley is killed and the laboratory is destroyed in an attempt to squelch this technological breakthrough.
Student research assistant Eddie Kasalivich (Keanu Reeves) and physicist Lily Sinclair (Rachel Weisz) worked with Barkley and are now framed for his death. They find themselves caught in a chain reaction of murder and high-tech espionage as they become fugitives from the law and from special government agencies. Against tremendous odds, Eddie and Lily set out to discover who is behind this far-reaching, shadowy and deadly conspiracy in one suspenseful chase after another.
If you are looking for a film with a good story line and lots of action, you will enjoy this movie. If you are looking for a believable suspense movie—stay home! Although the main story line is engaging, the endless chase scenes are far fetched and detract from the overall effect of the film. This film could just as easily have been named Eddie Kasalivich meets the Key Stone Cops. Police, FBI, CIA and professional murderers are seen falling, slipping and being out-maneuvered (and out-thought) by Eddie, a mere student science technician, throughout the entire movie. The story and suspense will only be enjoyable if you are willing to sit back and enjoy the ride—don’t ask too many questions.
“Chain Reaction” is rated PG-13 because of the intensity of the drama. It contained no nudity, only minor bad language and very little violence (only 3 people are actually shown being killed, and none are very bloody). If you are looking for a movie that is much less offensive than most of the other summer action films, this may be it—just be sure to check your brain at the door and sit back for a fast paced adventure.
Year of Release—1996